Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) - Lexington County School District One’s Board of Trustees met on Tuesday May 21, 2019 and accepted the district administration’s recommendation to amend an option agreement to buy a parcel of the land in Lexington for the purpose of relocating Lexington Middle School. The amendment to the option agreement establishes a purchase price of $1,594,575.00 or $47,500 per acre. The board took this action after the district received final appraisals and completed price negotiations.
The option agreement is for the purchase of two of the four parcels they will need in order to build the school near Old Cherokee Road and Cherokee Trail in Lexington. The two covered by this amendment is one that’s 23.57 acres, and another totaling 10 acres. Both are located on Old Cherokee Road. In total, the district has options on four tracts totaling just over 61.5 acres. They say they need that much land to meet the needs of a modern school and the requirements of all regulating agencies like the SC Department of Education and the SCDOT.
The amendment made Tuesday night is confusing to many, including one that reached out to The Lexington Ledger. That confusion may come from their first press-release regarding the land purchase. In that release issued in mid March, (See that here) no price for the land is given. It appears as if the option is just contingent upon purchasing four separate tracts needed to build in that location at once. Now, the district has released the amount they are paying for two of the parcels with their actual cost.
In their communication this week, the district simply mentions two of the four tracts they would need to meet all the requirements to build a new school. Since their first release had no dollar figures mentioned, and we were unable to locate any communication that did, it seems impossible to pinpoint exactly what they did Tuesday night. Did they simply amend the agreement so that they can buy two pieces of land now and the other two later? Are the other two parcels off the table completely? One citizen said that this type of communication lends itself to a distrust of the district. “If what they say appears to be mumbo-jumbo or an attempt at confusing the citizens, it automatically builds distrust,” he said. He admitted he voted for the $365 million five-year building plan reluctantly but wishes the district would do a better job of being open and honest with the people when they take steps to spend that money.