AP NEWS

Omaha-area school district buys site for 3rd high school

June 25, 2019

PAPILLION, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha-area school district has spent $3.95 million on a roughly 90-acre (35-hectare) parcel of land where it plans to build a third high school, according to district officials.

The Papillion-La Vista School Board doesn’t know when construction will start at the site they purchased on Monday just south of Papillion, the Omaha World-Herald reported. Valerie Fisher, board president, said the board needed to act expeditiously since land is becoming difficult to acquire in the area.

“Sarpy County is growing so quickly, the amount of land that would be required, should we ever make a decision to build a third high school, is pretty massive, and it’s getting harder and harder to get,” Fisher said. “The great thing about buying land is it’s a sellable commodity down the road. If we don’t need it, we can sell it.”

The funds came from a $109.9 million bond approved by voters in 2018.

The land is in the Springfield Platteview school district. Brett Richards, superintendent of Platteview, said Papillion-La Vista can pay a transfer fee of about $2,000 under the terms of a 2015 boundary agreement.

For now, officials in his district are fine with trading land for money, Richards said.

He noted the money will go into the Springfield Platteview building fund.

Papillion-La Vista’s Fisher added that the land transfer contract is the proper method to handle boundary concerns.

“It’s better to do this than to have people trying to take over in an adversarial way,” she said.

In the meantime, the Papillion-La Vista school district will continue working to expand its two existing high schools.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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