Greenwood schools is expanding the site of the new middle school by adding more land.
The Greenwood school board unanimously approved buying 11 acres next to the site of the new middle school, located at Apryl Drive and Averitt Road, from L&B farms. The school district will pay $25,000 per acre, or a total of $275,000, from its rainy day fund, Greenwood assistant superintendent Todd Pritchett said.
The purchase brings the site to 29 acres. L&B Farms offered the additional land after the city bought the initial 18 acres for the new middle school, Pritchett said. No specific use for the 11 acres has been decided, Pritchett said.
The land could be used for middle school athletics fields if baseball or soccer are ever added, or a preschool, Pritchett said. School officials wanted the 11 acres because it gives the school district a rare opportunity to have additional land to build on, Pritchett said.
“I think it’s important for us to keep future ideas and possibilities for growth in mind,” Pritchett said. “Just having the ability at the new (middle school), for example, to add a baseball or middle school softball team — those discussions come up. But there’s no way we can do any of these things unless we have the available property.”
Construction has begun on the new $27 million middle school and is expected to be complete in late 2017 or early 2018. Earlier this month, the school board approved a $4.6 million sports complex that will be built at the south end of the high school parking lot, which is planned to be done by January 2017. The facility could be used by after-school clubs, practices and sporting events and will have three courts for basketball or volleyball, a two-lane track, a concession stand and locker rooms.
School officials saved close to $200,000 when the bids for the athletics complex came in under budget. They also saved money on work to upgrade and replace the cooling system at Northeast Elementary, which had been expected to cost $1 million. But bids for the work came in about $240,000 under budget, Pritchett said.
The savings will be used toward work on the ceiling at the high school pool, which will cost $82,000, and installation of lights at middle school athletics fields, which will be about $174,000, Pritchett said.
“Everything came in a little better than we expected, which has allowed us to not only do the main-focus projects but the alternate projects as well,” Pritchett said.