Saturday, May 26, 2001

Lebanon nearing land deal

District looks to build 2 new schools

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — The school district is close to finishing a $1.4 million land deal to acquire about 84 acres in Turtlecreek Township that could be the site for at least one of the district's two new schools.

        The district is building two schools and refurbishing its others, funded by a $50 million bond issue voters passed this month.

        School officials signed a contract Friday with Donald ""Ken” Bowman, who owns the property. The district is purchasing 74 acres and Mr. Bowman has said he will donate 10, according to his Realtor, Jim McClain of McClain Realtors in Lebanon.

        The contract should be final in 60 days, following soil and environmental tests and a title check.

        The property is about a mile east of Lebanon High School.

        In exchange for the donation, the district has agreed to name the new elementary school after Mr. Bowman's wife, Carolyn J. Bowman, who died last year, Superintendent Bill Sears said.

        “What we did is structure the deal to be mutually beneficial to the school, community and the seller,” Mr. Sears said.

        He added that other buyers were considering the property at a higher price. Mr. Sears said naming the school in honor of Mr. Bowman's wife was a way to encourage him to sell the property to the school district.

        School officials have not decided how the Turtlecreek Township land will be used. The district also owns 44 acres adjacent to the high school, Mr. Sears said.

        The next step is to solicit ideas from the community on where to place the schools and on which schools to build on the two sites, he said.

        “We want the community to tell us,” he said. “Tell us what you want.”

        Community forums to solicit ideas will likely begin in September. Groundbreaking for the schools will be 12-18 months away, he said.


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