The parcel, 301 Route 32 South, also includes a house, which the district hopes to eventually resell to defray the initial $798,000 purchase cost.
According to Board of Education President Patrick Rausch, the district has a good opportunity to purchase the property, complete with the six-bedroom home and substantial acreage, for a low, low price.
“This is something we cannot slow down. If we don’t purchase it, we’re going to lose it,” Rausch said.
Superintendent Maria Rice noted that the extra land would give Lenape Elementary School a secondary access – right now it’s trapped at the end of a cul-de-sac – but it could also give the public schools options for more parking or a consolidated campus with one fewer building.
“It’s an absolutely incredible property,” Rice said.
To make the purchase, school officials hope to use money from the capital reserve fund. According to Assistant Superintendent Richard Linden, that fund is extremely limited in its use, can only be used to make capital improvements and it cannot be spent on educational programs. Using money from the capital improvement reserve would mean that the school district did not have to bond for that money or pay interest.
School board members approved the measure during their meeting tonight, which will put the vote before the electorate on April 10.
Check out next week’s print edition for more details.