Pa. school board OKs option to buy land for school

March 09, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Looking to future residential development in the northern part of the school district, the Chambersburg School Board Wednesday night approved a purchase option to buy 10 acres of land for $400,000 for a new Grandview Elementary School.

The land, belonging to Alvin and Diana Meyers, is directly behind the existing Grandview Elementary on Cumberland Highway in Greene Township. Together, the parcels would give the district 20 acres for a new elementary school if it exercises its option to buy the land.

Under the terms of the six-month agreement, the district will pay $5,000 to reserve the right to buy the land at $40,000 an acre until Aug. 13, Business Manager Rick Vensel said. At the end of that period, the district may, for an additional $5,000, renew the terms until Feb. 13, 2007, he said.

The district paid approximately the same amount per acre for 78 acres of land for a new secondary school in the Greenvillage area of Greene Township.


The moneys paid to the Meyerses for the option will be deducted from the purchase price if the district buys the land, Vensel said. During the option period, Vensel said the district will conduct environmental testing, geological evaluation and other site evaluations to determine if the site should be used for a new school.

The district has not begun the planning process for a new Grandview, but "we're getting ready," Vensel said.

As developers continue to build new homes and submit subdivision and land development plans for other projects in the townships surrounding Chambersburg, the district has been planning elementary school projects.

Paul Taylor of the Mechanicsburg, Pa., architectural firm Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, told the board that bids will go out for an expansion of Hamilton Heights on March 21. The new wing for the school will expand it to four classrooms for each grade and is projected to cost about $2.6 million, Taylor said.

Vensel said the board could award contracts for Hamilton Heights in April and the new section is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

Taylor said the district is awaiting approval of a highway occupancy permit for a new Fayetteville Elementary School. Bids for Fayetteville could be ready to advertise this spring, Vensel said.

Vensel estimated Fayetteville, with four classrooms for each grade, will cost $13 million to $14 million. The district wants the school opened for the beginning of the 2007-08 school year, he said.

This fall, the district could be ready to request bids for a new four-deep U.L. Gordy Elementary in the borough, Vensel said. The estimate for that school, which the district wants to open for the 2008-09 year, is $15 million, he said.

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