The city expects to buy about $1.1 million for the 17.6-acre lot on Matthews Street that officials are eyeing for a new school, records show.
Though school Superintendent Philip Streifer said that officials aren’t sure of the cost for the 851 Matthews Street site, paperwork submitted to the City Council shows an expected cost of $1.06 million for the property.
There is also a chance the city will choose a more expansive school site by purchasing a neighboring 12-acre parcel for about the same price per acre.
It would likely cost about $750,000 – of which only about half would be eligible for the 74 percent reimbursement promised by the state for the entire project.
Purchasing both parcels would likely hit city taxpayers for about $600,000, with the state picking up the other $1.2 million for the land buys, assuming the school is built.
Streifer said the owners of both parcels are willing to sell.
City land records show that Sahlin Diann is the owner of the 851 Matthews Street lot, which is appraised by the city for $738,700.
Streifer said he would like to see the city buy the land before Jan. 1 to make sure that Bristol’s school project remains in the pipeline if the General Assembly should try to save money by delaying new projects that haven’t gotten at least that far by the end of 2008.
A public hearing on the proposed school site is likely to take place within a few weeks, probably just before a joint session of the City Council and the West Bristol School Building Committee that recommended the parcel after a previous site, off Barlow Street, was shot down.
City Councilor Frank Nicastro said the Matthews Street site is “a hundred times better” than the sand pit proposed earlier. But he stopped short of saying he would support its purchase.
The Board of Education hopes to build the two schools for students ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade. Each would house 900 students.
The new buildings would replace Memorial Boulevard Middle School and three aging primary schools O’Connell, Greene-Hills and Bingham.
The project has to be underway by June 13, 2010 or it won’t be eligible for state aid. But the current plan calls for only minimal work on the project until 2013, with a projected opening of the new buildings in the fall of 2015.
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