by Debbie Kelley firstname.lastname@example.org
A 10-acre parcel of land that Colorado Springs School District 11 purchased 14 years ago as a future school site will be sold and likely developed as residential housing.
The Newport Heights property on Bridle Pass Drive will be sold for $650,000 to a partnership group, D-11′s board of education decided Wednesday night with unanimous vote.
The decision is part of the district’s plan to sell surplus land and buildings and consolidate schools to address enrollment changes and budget challenges.
Market value and the city’s school land fees ordinance were used to establish a fair market value, which is the offered price.
D-11 purchased the land from Nor’wood Development Group in 1999 for $556,000. At that time, the land had an assessed value of $582,000 and an estimated market value of up to $5 million.
Steve Cox, one of the partners in the purchasing entity, The Land Development Company, said the plan is to develop the site into probably single-family residential homes, to look like the existing neighborhood.
“We’re looking for opportunities for infill development,” said Cox, who previously worked for the City of Colorado Springs as fire chief, interim city manager and interim chief of staff and now is a Re/Max real estate agent.
“I just have a fundamental belief that before the city annexes more property outside of its borders, we should develop the vacant property that lies within the borders,” he said.
The school board also approved a budget adjustment to hire four additional full-time campus security officers, one at each of the district’s traditional high schools.
The schools already have four to six security officers, but with this year’s increased enrollment from a fifth high school closing in May, “We’re just trying to be proactive,” said Robert Curran, assistant superintendent.
“Recent serious incidents” in the neighborhoods surrounding the schools, also prompted the request, he said.
“An extra person will allow us to better control access to the schools, respond to incidents that happen around the schools and monitor what’s happening around our schools,” Curran said.
The new security personnel will start in January.