Middle school site chosen

Courtesy illustration FBT Architechs provied the board a conceptual site analysis to illustrate how a middle school would be located on the donation site owned by Clovis developer Sid Strebeck.

Liliana Castillo

Clovis Schools board members chose a 40-acre site being donated by Clovis developer Sid Strebeck Tuesday as the site of a proposed new middle school.

The land is at the northwest corner of Wilhite and Thornton streets.

The other site considered was a site for purchase of up to 47 acres owned by the Burns and Sprouls families on the southwest corner of Thornton and Llano Estacado. The district was unable to appraise the property but the site was being offered for $15,000 an acre.

The board chose the Strebeck site on a 4-1 vote, with President Mark Lansford dissenting, on the condition that Strebeck foot the bill to develop sewer and water to the site.

“My preference was (the Burns site) but I fully support the decision of the board. I’m excited about getting shovels in the ground,” he said.

Before the vote, Deputy Superintendent of Operations Joel Shirley presented the board with costs to develop each property and conceptual site diagrams that illustrated access and where buildings and parking lots would be located on the sites.

According to the district’s own estimates, it will cost $60,000 to bring power to the Strebeck site; $100,200 to develop gas; $30,000 to dig a well; $16,000 for four flashing school zone traffic lights; and $50,000 for a center left turn lane on Thornton. That adds up to a $256,200 cost to the district.

The district also estimated that it will cost $1 million to install a traffic light at Llano and Thornton and $240,000 to chip seal two miles of road – one mile on the south side of the site on Wilhite and another mile on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Llano.

Shirley said the light at Llano and Thornton is already under consideration by the city to handle traffic increases.

Strebeck also included six acre feet of water rights for the district’s irrigation needs. Shirley estimated the water rights would save the district $85,000 a year.

Lansford said he believed it was important for the board to choose a site before the Aug. 31 special bond election. The $16 million bond issue will be used for renovations and additions at five elementary schools, Marshall Middle School and the district’s $6 million share of the proposed middle school.

“People wanted closure to this issue and I did too honestly,” Lansford said. “I’m glad we can move on to other district business.”

Lansford noted the site selection won’t be finalized until the two parties come to a contractual agreement. He said he expects the board to have a contract in front of them in the next couple of months.

Lansford said to his knowledge an engineering study hadn’t been performed on the site as to how much it will cost to develop sewer and water to the site.

Strebeck said he believes the board’s choice is progressive.

“It shows we have a progressive school board that’s looking to the future,” he said. “We believe the city is going to grow.”

Strebeck said he does not expect any issues in agreeing to a contract with the board over sewer and water development. He said he has a bid in with a private contractor to do the work at $200,000.

“We’re going to make it work,” he said.

In other business, the board:

• Heard a report on the district’s Adequate Yearly Progress report by Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Cindy Martin.

Martin noted that more students in the district made AYP in reading and math than students state-wide did, except 11th graders.

• Approved a request to travel by the Gear Up Robotics team at Clovis High School. The team will travel to three competitions, one in September and two in October. Last year, the team made third place and so many students are interested, that the district is considering starting a program at Yucca Middle School.

• Approved a leave of absence request for a teacher to perform student teaching.

• Approved an activity transportation agreement for the 2010-2011 school year with Adair, Inc.

The agreement outlined a cost of $.80 per mile, $8.25 per hour regular time and $12.38 per overtime hour. Shirley said the rates remained the same from last year.