Carson City School District administration building.
The Carson City school board has given Superintendent Andrew Feuling approval to give notice of intent to acquire the 10-acre Lompa Ranch property from the Myers Family Exempt Trust, the Arraiz Family 1993 TR, RD Lompa LLC, Lompa Ranch East Hills LLC and Terrasas & Tripp LLC.
The action authorizing Feuling to issue the notice merely expresses the district’s interest in buying the property itself. Board members stated June 13 they have not yet established a purpose for the land but are interested in exploring options for it.
Trustee Molly Walt said she received a question from a constituent about the board’s intention for the property, and Feuling said there would be multiple conversations through the district’s Facilities Master Plan and Bond Oversight committees to help make the best determination for need.
Feuling referred to his May 9 presentation on demographic shifts, based on data presented by public school consultant Davis Demographics, indicating there will be fewer K-12 students overall enrolled in Carson City’s district borders through 2029, dropping from 7,034 to 6,019 students. However, more schools still are needed to relieve the pressure from Carson High School as it eventually grows from housing 2,000 to approximately 4,000 students.
Previous discussions were to develop a ninth grade building at CHS. Two more elementary sites and one more middle school were needed, and the district had considered a kindergarten to eighth grade facility as a transitional facility, Feuling said.
Board President Laurel Crossman, responding to Walt, said moving forward on the property seemed logical.
“There’s not very many 10-acre sites in the city available,” Crossman said. “I think it’s OK to go forward with it even if we don’t have a definitive purpose for it.”
District attorney Ryan Russell said once the notice of intent is issued, the school district will open an escrow account for the actual transaction. He informed the board it was not party to the agreement at the time, but once escrow is opened, it results in a 10-year payment of $1,000 per dwelling unit built on the property. At the conclusion of the 10 years, the district is responsible for the balance of the purchase price not to exceed $150,000. By then, escrow will close and the title will vest, Russell said.
Trustee Mike Walker made the motion to authorize Feuling to direct the formal notice, and the board approved unanimously 7-0.
Walker, speaking with the Appeal after the meeting, was pleased with the flexibility the decision offers the board and the community to help the district’s needs.
“Number one, we’re landlocked,” he said of Carson City. “We don’t have very many areas we can develop for schools, so as our area grows — and it doesn’t take much to drive around this city, on every vacant corner, they’re building houses, apartments, condos — so as our population grows, we’re going to need a place to educate the kids. And the place is cost-prohibited, to buy land and build schools.”
He added it’s too soon to say exactly what the site should be used for at this point.
“I really think that’s the beauty of this deal,” he said. “It gives us time to study the trends and what are the needs. As we get ready to develop that property, the board and community are going to come together and say this is what we need. It would be premature to say we’re going to place a certain type of school or property. This is just pure potential to address whatever the needs of the school district are.”