Friday, September 28, 2001

Lakota schools accept acreage

Elementary may be built if site expanded

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP — Two years of negotiations ended this week with the acceptance of a 9.5-acre land donation by the Hutzelman family to the Lakota schools.

        The land, along the west side of Ohio 747 between Smith and Tylersville roads, is part of what had been the Hutzelman farm, owned by the family since 1845. School officials say the property could be used for a future elementary school if the board acquires an adjacent tract of nearly 4 acres owned by Concorde Capital.

        Superintendent Kathleen Klink, who has been working with the Hutzelmans and Concorde Capital for two years, said discussions with Concorde are continuing. Officials from Concorde could not be reached for comment.

        “It's a very important location for future growth,” Mrs. Klink said. "We are still quite hopeful we'll get the 4 acres.”

        Board of Education President Joan Powell said the donation would likely become the site of an elementary school and would save taxpayers about $300,000.

        “I'm glad to see it happen,” Mrs. Powell said. “It's the perfect size for an elementary school, and it's in an area that is going to see a lot of growth. We don't delude ourselves. We know we're going to need schools.”

        The district had been planning to put an elementary school on the site, but decided in June to put it and a junior school on the Van Gorden farm, an 85-acre site at the northwest corner of Lesourdsville-West Chester and Princeton roads in Liberty Township. Site preparation is expected to begin there in the next two months, with construction beginning in the spring.

        Money to pay for the two schools is coming from a bond issue voters approved 10 months ago.


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