Location of proposed new school, and contingent land purchase announced

According to a USD 373 press release, as well as a contract provided by the school district, the city has signed a contingent contract that would buy 25 acres near the intersection of Old Main and SW 24th Street on which to build a new elementary school, should voters approve paying for it, this September.

By Adam Strunk

We now know where the district will build a new school and how much it will pay for the land, should voters approve building a new school in September’s bond vote.

The Newton School District will purchase 25 acres of land near the intersection of Old Main and South West 24th Street for a proposed new elementary school. Voters will vote on Sept. 3 on a bond issue to decide whether or not the district constructs that school, estimated to cost a total of $24.2 million.

““We are excited to have this space for the new school and the rural life program if question two passes,” Superintendent Deb Hamm said.

We believe that this space as well as having a school built specifically for its needs will help the program flourish.”

Should the question not pass, the land purchase would not go through.

Should it pass the district will pay a total of $326,700 to owner and developer Ron Harder for the land. According to the contract the district provided, Harder is giving the district 10 acres of land and the district is paying $.50 per square foot or $21,780 per acre for the remaining 15 acres it is purchasing. Total cost would amount to $13,068 per acre.

Harder properties LLC owns open housing lots throughout the area North of SW 24th St and West of Old Main St.

The bond issue, to be voted in in September has two questions. The first question would remodel the high school, add security and storm safety features throughout the district, as well as building space and is projected to cost $61.32 million. It would increase taxes paid to the owner of a $100,000 home in the district by $85.56 a year.

How the wording in the vote is written, Question two, which will build the new school, can only be passed if question one is also approved. That question would result in the owner of a $100,000 home paying $40.20 annually or about $3.35 a month.

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