May 15, 2013
Andover School District today closed on the purchase of about 105 acres of land expected to be the site of a future high school, varsity stadium and middle school.
The district acquired the land — bounded by Martin Elementary School on the south, 159th Street East on the west, 29th Street on the north and an eastern boundary about a half-mile from 159th — from a group that includes Ritchie Development.
The district paid $12,000 per acre, which puts the total price at about $1.26 million. That price per acre was less than the district paid for school land it purchased in 2006, according to Superintendent Mark Evans.
If growth in the area continues at the rate it’s going today, Evans thinks the district could look at building on the site in five years.
That’s a decision a future superintendent and school board will have to make, though. Evans has been selected superintendent of Omaha Public Schools.
The new facilities would be Andover’s third high school and third middle school. The district has grown from 3,700 to 5,500 students in Evans’ eight years there.
The land is part of the 520-acre Cornerstone development north of 21st Street between 159th and Andover Road. Ritchie Development has built about 150 to 175 homes in the development so far and probably has room for about 300 more, says Kevin Mullen, Ritchie’s president.
Cornerstone also includes the Kansas Medical Center, which is expanding, an office park, and planned multifamily and commercial development by Laham Development, which is a partner with Ritchie on the master-planned community.
Mullen says the land sold to the district could have held about 175 homes, but the proximity of the future schools — creating a trifecta of elementary, middle and high schools in the same zone — will prove hugely popular to current and future homeowners, spurring future commercial development dependent on residences.
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