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      Columbia Public Schools reaches deal to buy land for new school

      Columbia Public Schools negotiated a deal to buy a 36-acre site located at the northwest corner of Scott Boulevard and Route KK in Boone County to build an elementary school in southwest Columbia.

      After an extensive site search by a committee of community members and district representatives, the school district agreed to buy the property for $2.8 million from the Sapp family.

      The land will be purchased using funds from the 2012 voter-approved bond issue. The bond plan presented to voters included the construction of another elementary school to address overcrowding in many of the districtâ??s elementary schools.

      The site location was selected from more than 14 land options that were reviewed and vetted through a site review committee as well as city and county officials. Additionally, engineering studies were conducted on the top two sites. Some of the evaluation and selection criteria included available usable acreage, location in the Southwest quadrant of Columbia, location of major roads, level of site development and location of utility infrastructure.

      â??The location of the property as well as the major infrastructure pieces and student safety were important considerations in the decision to purchase this property,â?? said Superintendent Chris Belcher.

      Next steps include working with the districtâ??s architectural team to adapt the current elementary school master plan to this site. The school is slated to open in 2016.

      Columbia Public Schools is also preparing to break ground on an additional elementary school located adjacent to Battle High School. That school is slated to open in 2015.