Mercer School District Buys Land For New Elementary School
District Purchases Land For $450,000
Mercer County Schools have closed on the property on Industrial Road which district officials hope will serve as the future home of Mercer County Elementary School. At last week’s meeting, the Mercer County Board of Education considered their next steps on the new elementary school.
At the school board’s regular meeting held on Oct. 18, the district announced it had purchased approximately 20 acres located at 1250 Industry Road—the former home of the Triple Cross Cowboy Church—from the Harrodsburg United Methodist Church. The purchase price for the land is $450,000. Including $4,137.50 in settlement charges to the buyer, the total cost is $454,137.50.
According to documents made available by the school district, the board considered four sites before making their final choice. The property sits above the 100-year flood plain and that water, sewer and power utilities are within approximately 500 to 1,400 feet, requiring a lift station on the property.
A site survey performed by RossTarrant Architects estimated the total site development cost—including excavation, fill, utilities, and property purchase costs—could amount to more than $1.5 million with a planning cost projection of more than $28 million.
“This was the most economical piece of property because of the limited amount of excavation needed compared to the other three properties,” Superintendant Jason Booher said in a statement.
The school board also approved a BG-1 project application for the new elementary school project. The estimated total projected constructed cost is nearly $32 million, including a contingency of more than $1.5 million. District officials cautioned that the numbers are preliminary.
Booher said the recent interest rate increases complicated making an estimate.
“The more they go up, the less you can buy,” Booher said. He said the district needs to find out what they can afford with their current bonding potential. The superintendent recommended hiring a construction manager to guide them through the process, which he said could help them get “the most bang for the buck.”
The board agreed to advertise for a construction manager and architectural services The district will gather letters of interest, projects and references and the board can make a decision in November. District will also put out criteria.
The board also heard a progress report on the athletic complex. Booher said excavation is completed and the contractor is installing irrigation system, which, because of the recent dry conditions, is necessary before they can begin laying sod. Booher said everything else is on time or ahead of schedule.
Board member Cliff Prewitt asked about the soccer field, which is part of the more than $4.5 million project.
Booher said the contractor had to wait until the end of the season. He said plumbing, water and sewer are installed.
The school board approved a change order for circuit breaker boxes which will add $2,415 to the total cost.