Plans for new middle school in the early stages

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Location undisclosed pending contract talks

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Plans for a new Fredericksburg Middle School campus are underway.

On Thursday, Feb. 4, the district’s board of trustees approved making an offer on a tract of 57 acres of land. This came after a bond committee had met since September to review options for relocating the middle school.

“It’s always important for school districts to look at available land for future growth, whether it be for the middle school, or just in general,” Interim Supt. Dr. Marc Williamson said.

A subcommittee created by the district brought forth a contract on 57 acres of land.

“We have been meeting with the landowner, but at some point, you have to put something in writing,” said subcommittee chairman and school board member Mark Cornett.

While Cornett couldn’t say where the location was, as an agreement has not yet been signed, it’s close to the current campuses.

“It’s in a fairly good location. We have some other ideas on some other properties, but this is one that we’ve been talking to the most,” Cornett said.

The land cost, Williamson said, would come out of the capital budget’s fund balance, and still leave the district “in good financial position.”

“Secondly, in order to build a new middle school, you’d have to pass the bond,” he said. “The bond designed right now that we’ll be working on bringing forward will not include a tax rate increase.

“I won’t know the exact numbers on that until we finish determining the bond. But when we call the bond, we’ll need to have an exact number. I think what’s being looked at is a range between $40-$65 million, but that would be done without including a tax rate increase.”

Williamson added that when looking at land for a new school, it’s important to look at the land’s appropriateness. A few reasons Williamson and Cornett feel the desired land is appropriate are the land’s size, location and its adequate utility services.

At this time, a bond election has yet to be called. The contract has not been finalized, in part due to inclement weather.

“We think it will work out positively,” Cornett said. “Once this happens, I will be happy to share more information.”