District close to locking up new school site

 

By Brad Mosher
The Herald

The Killdeer School District is close to finalizing a location for a new campus and will soon be sending out a survey to the public over the proposed new construction meant to handle the school’s extreme growth.
According to Superintendent Gary Wilz, the district lawyers are in negotiations with the owners for a 20-acre parcel near the city.
The district will also be ready to submit a survey to the public about the project in early August, the superintendent added. It will be mailed out with the district expecting to give the public a six-week window to collect a response.
“It looks like mid to late September, but if it is earlier, that would be great,” Wilz said about getting a response.
If things go well, the district could try to have the measure to fund the construction placed on the November ballot, the superintendent added. “It could be, but I wouldn’t lock into that right now.,” he said.
Part of that will depend on the results of the survey. “It sent by mail, but once they see that they have the ability to complete it electronically. There will be instructions on the survey so they could either do it by paper or they will be able to go online and complete the survey.”
The parcel acquisition is close, Wilz explained. “It is not finalized yet, but we are really close. The land owner’s attorney has it and our attorney has been in contact with them.”
The location of the parcel hasn’t been publicized yet, but the superintendent said that it should be eligible for annexation and city infrastructure. It should meet all the necessary requirements.
“We initially asked for 40 (acres) but we are probably going to end up with about 20 (acres),” he said. That could be enough for the new campus, according to the superintendent.
“A football field minus the end zones is about an acre,” Wilz said. “So, we sit on 13 acres right now with the entire complex, so the reality is if we get 20 acres we’ll not only have what we currently have …. but we’ll seven additional football fields of space there for us.
“I think it is going to meet our need,” he explained.
Even with the new campus, whether it will be a high school or an elementary school, one thing will remain the Killdeer Sports Complex will remain the home of the Cowboys football team, the superintendent stressed.
Currently, any Killdeer student wanting to play baseball or softball can use the cooperative agreement the Cowboys have with Dickinson High School, but that could also change if the high school population keeps increasing, Wilz explained.
“That could be in our future.”
Something else which could be in the future for high school students could be a series of vocational areas on the campus. “We could do that if we build a new high school campus or if we remodel.
“We could do that either way.”
The biggest obstacle so far for the plan to build a new campus has been finding and securing the parcel for it, according to the superintendent.
“I am pleased that once we get the land locked in we can move this thing forward. That has been our biggest struggle for the past six and a half months.”


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