Archive for Thursday, April 24, 2003

Board OKs boundaries for new elementary, starts condemnation for next school

April 24, 2003

The De Soto USD 232 Board of Education approved boundaries that would define elementary attendance limits with the opening of the Woodsonia replacement elementary.

The action Tuesday came a month after the boundaries were recommended to the Board by the District Boundary Study Committee. The study group, which is open to all interested district patrons, has met once a month since November.

Earth preparation is completed on the Woodsonia replacement elementary, located just west of the Mill Valley High School campus. Construction on the school is scheduled to start this summer and it is set to open in August 2004.

The Board's approval of the recommendations would:

  • Place the Grey Oaks, Crystal Park, Woodlawn Park and Woodsonia subdivisions in the Woodsonia replacement school's boundaries.
  • Move the "postage stamp" area south of 83rd Street and west of Kansas Highway 7 from Mize to Clear Creek.

That last recommendation caused considerable debate with Board members Sandra Thierer and Bill Waye suggesting the district give parents in the postage stamp the option of remaining in Mize. Most of the estimated 61 students would choose to attend Clear Creek, they said, because buses serving elementary students in the area would be routed to Clear Creek, meaning parents would have to provide transportation for those students enrolled in Mize.

Superintendent Marilyn Layman and District Planning Director Jack Deyoe said Thierer and Waye's suggestion probably wouldn't cause overcrowding at Mize, but cautioned it could lead parents and students slated for the Woodsonia replacement to believe they could continue on at Riverview Elementary. Those requests would be impossible to accommodate because of space limitations, they said.

In the end, the Board agreed to approve the recommendations and leave a decision on the postage stamp students to its May meeting based on parent comment.

The meeting also gave evidence boundary issue will continue to come before the district. The Board approved proceeding with condemnation proceedings for a future elementary school site near 55th Street and Clare Road that should open in August 2005. District Facilities Director Denis Johnson said the 13-acre site is owned by the developer Duggan and Associates and is west of Heartland Hills and south of Belmont.

"They aren't interested in selling it to us, but because of the two established developments, it works very well for the school district," he said. "It will in the middle of the two established subdivisions and the development Duggan plans."

The site also appealed to the district because students walking to school would only have to use residential streets, Johnson said.

The condemnation was the second such proceeding the district has been involved with in recent months. In December, the Board started condemnation proceedings to acquire 90 acres of land near 87th Street and Mize Road owned by Maurice and Paul Vanlerberg. The district wants the site for a future central middle school and high school campus.

A judge has approved a ruling by a three-member jury of appraisers that set the price of that property at $2.6 million, Johnson said. They have appealed the ruling but the district has made payment and now owns the property, Johnson said. The district was planning to start soil sampling on the property in anticipation of this summer's start of design work on a new central middle school, he said.

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