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Guthrie Public Schools to purchase land for future school

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On Tuesday, the Guthrie Public Schools Board of Education met in special session to approve a purchase agreement for 25 acres of land located east of Charter Oak Road and Douglas Boulevard. This land is in the southern portion of the school district, which comprises 232 square miles of land.

Board of EducationThe conditions of the contract between the school district and the seller’s Bill and Lloydean Beckham include an addendum allowing GPS to build a public road for increased access from Douglas Blvd. as the frontage of the property is along Charter Oak Road east of the intersection. The purchase price for the property is $250,000. The sale of the land is expected to close prior to March 31, 2015.

The purchase of this land follows a prioritization of needs identified by the Long Range Planning Committee which began meeting in March, 2013. This committee toured every facility owned by the district as well as facilities in Kingfisher and Enid. During the tours, the committee of sixteen community members spoke to principals and staff members about each facility and the challenges they deal with on a daily basis. On June 10, 2013, the committee presented their recommendations to the Board of Education. The top priority the committee listed was [to], “construct an elementary school in the southern portion of the school district. Since this is the area of greatest student growth, the location will assist the district in addressing overcrowding at elementary sites.” Following that presentation, the district has been actively seeking land needed for a future school site.

“This land purchase will allow us to address the current and future growth I would expect our school district to experience,” Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson aid.

He added, “Our October child count indicated that we have 466 students in Kindergarten through 5th grade that live south of Seward Road. This area continues to grow with residential development and those homes have Bluejays in them. I truly hope a site in the southern portion of our school district will allow us to shorten the bus rides of some of our students which in certain cases is 2 hours in the morning and evening as well as reduce overcrowding in our current schools. The issues identified on our last bond issue have not gone away and we will continue to work on addressing those as well as the multitude of other needs that exist within our district.”

Board of Education President Travis Sallee said, “This location is very close to many of our students and we fully expect the area to continue to grow. Acquiring land brings us one step closer to addressing the top priority identified by our citizen committee. The board also knows we must continue to maintain and improve our current facilities and will be working to accomplish this as well.”

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