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SPS to acquire land for planned $20M school

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Last edited 1:15 p.m., March 11, 2019

Springfield Public Schools entered a deal to purchase tracts of land on the north side for its planned $20.3 million replacement of Boyd Elementary School.

The new Boyd — which would replace the existing, more than 100-year-old school — is among projects that are contingent on the passage of Proposition S on the April 2 ballot. Prop S asks voters for a debt-service levy increase for $168 million bond request.

Ten parcels are now under contract adjacent to the former 1.4-acre Berry Elementary School that SPS already owns at 911 E. Division St. At Division and Sherman Avenue in the Midtown neighborhood, the additional 3.09 acres are slated to be purchased for $430,000, according to a news release.

"The board of education knew it was important to the Midtown neighborhood to have as many answers as possible ahead of the April 2 election," board President Jill Patterson said in the release. "We were committed to locating the property to accommodate a new Boyd and immediately began negotiations with property owners near our former Berry school location, less than half a mile from the current Boyd location. We are very pleased with this outcome."

Pending the April election results, the new Boyd school would be targeted to open for the 2021-22 academic year. Planned features include improved security and accessibility, as well as a new storm shelter and preschool classrooms. The school would be home to some 300 pre-K through fifth-grade students currently meeting at 1409 N. Washington Ave.

SPS plans to pay for the additional land with surplus funds from its 2013 bond issuance, according to the release. Spokeswoman Teresa Bledsoe said the land purchase is not contingent on the passage of Prop S.

Other Prop S requests include construction of a new Jarrett Middle School for $41.5 million; renovation of Hillcrest High School for $24.8 million; and new construction of Delaware Elementary School at its current site for $23.8 million.

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