May 13, 2009

City to buy second school site

City councilors voted unanimously late last night to buy about 15.5 acres on Matthews Street for $50,000 an acre, or about $775,000 total. Nobody was too sure of the exact number yet.
The site would be used for one of two proposed 900-student schools that would house kindergarten to eighth grade classes.
The price for the land is exactly what the appraisers said it was worth, city officials said.
"We're right on that number," said Dale Clift, the city attorney.
Mayor Art Ward said he "refused to pay anything more than the appraised value" for the site near the corner of Matthews and Clark Avenue.
The other proposed school site, on the former Crowley dealership on Pine Street, will be in city hands soon. Clift said the closing is set for Monday.
With a deal to buy the 851 Matthews St. lot -- which doesn't include the historic house at the corner and 1.5 acres of the 17-acre lot -- the city will soon have both school sites in its possession.
Now the question becomes whether it can finish the design work and begin construction quickly enough to meet state rules, which still mandate the project be underway 13 months from now. At this point, the city doesn't even have architects or a construction manager hired to do the jobs.
With the state picking up 73.9 percent of the expected $132 million price tag for the projects, it's crucial that Bristol gets a green light to begin the work late, officials said. Whether that permission will be given, though, is unknown.
The city is also looking to buy a 12-acre lot to the east of the school site that would mostly remain as open space, but could be used for playing fields or other needs later.
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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

12 comments:

Concerned Conservative said...

Not only is putting a new school here a wrong-headed idea, this is an obscene waste of the tax payers money.
This is the worst real estate market in 50 years but the idiotic city government is paying top dollar for land no one else wants.
Citizens should be outraged.

Anonymous said...

Tell the BOE 1985 called and wants it MEGA schools back!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Idiotic"? The worst real estate market in 50 years = the best time to buy land in 50 years. So who's the idiot, CC?

Concerned Conservative said...

May 13, 2009 11:11 AM:

There are many idiots.

The land is not worth as I said "top dollar".

Read before you weep.

Concerned Conservative said...

Let me clarify. $50,000 an acre is getting hosed (us).

Anonymous said...

Gosh, if only we could all be as smart and wonderful as concerned conservative thinks he is...

Anonymous said...

Yahoo! I cant wait for my taxes to go up! I wonder if my home value will go up because we have new schools? Ya right!

Anonymous said...

Its a bad joke on all of us. The case for megaschools has not been made. The literature is weak and its not clear how applicable it is.

There are many questions and issues. No one has explained the educational value of extended bus travel for elementary school students who will be spending more time in transit. The BOE has yet to explain this whole project relative to projected (by the state) decline in school enrollment. Are we building class rooms which will never be filled?

no brain, no pain said...

or so they think(?)1:34.

Concerned Conservative said...

May 13, 2009 5:55 PM:

Well stated. You hit 100% on all points.

1) Longer bus rides..bad
2) Will these new giant buildings really do anything for better education?
3) Projected enrollment in the next 20 years is supposed to decrease except for those in heavily hispanic areas. Is that Bristol?
4) Cost to taxpayers in a down economy.
5) How will a school near the city line, in one of the least populated areas and near the highest elevation in the city affect the city's character. More sprawl, less going on in the city center and it's neighborhoods.

It's an all around bad idea. Again shame on the entire city council. I say vote them all out this year.

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous. Only in Bristol.

Anonymous said...

Ward Says he refused to pay more huh? Easy to take a hard line approach when you've got eminent domain in your pocket... I happen to know that that Family has been in possession of that land for almost 100 years... Something tells me they werent chomping at the bit to sell for a price they were told they'd have to accept... I just hope they secure the state funding and something good comes of the vacant school properties... otherwise this is just pointless...