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Cumberland Valley school board hosts public hearing on $3M land purchase for new schools

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The Cumberland Valley School District board will present a plan tonight to acquire a 129-acre tract of land at Bali Hai and Lambs Gap roads in Silver Spring and Hampden townships for $3 million.

The site is targeted as the future home of a new Good Hope Middle School and a new elementary school. The school board recently voted to fund the project with a $60.5 million bond issue.

"The site is located in the eastern portion of the district where the majority of student population is located," the district wrote in site acquisition documents.

The district is going through the condemnation process for the property, said Tracy Panzer, district spokeswoman, but negotiations continue with three property owners on the sale.

The board is expected to vote to acquire the property at its June 15 meeting, Panzer added. The property purchase is expected to close on June 16,  board documents say.

Site preparation, which includes asbestos removal, sewer hookups, grading for ballfields and parking, clearing wooded areas and adding an access road, is budgeted to add another $5.2 million to the cost.

The tract is farmland, but isn't being used, district officials have said. It is 25 percent wooded, but large enough to accommodate future growth, board documents say.

Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates Inc. is the architectural firm for the project. Alpha Consulting Engineers in New Cumberland is the primary engineering firm.

According to the district's long-term strategic plan, Eagle View and Good Hope middle schools have a capacity, with modular classrooms, for 1,890 students. Enrollment is about 50 students beyond that number, the district said.

The new elementary school will be built to hold 850 students, and the new Good Hope Middle School will hold 1,400. The new schools are projected to be ready for students in time for the 2018-19 school year.

The school board meets at 7 p.m. at the CV district office board room at 6746 Carlisle Pike in Silver Spring. The public hearing begins at 6 p.m.

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