As a Missouri state registered land surveyor for 44 years, I have seen and surveyed much of the Jefferson City area and because of this I was asked by the school district to be part of a new high school site selection committee.
As a result of being in the engineering and surveying business since 1969, I have had the opportunity to be part of the locating and site selections for the two middle schools, Pioneer Trail Elementary, and many of the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce industrial tracts.
The committee had a number of parameters we wanted to meet in selecting the right piece of property, and the land on Missouri 179 met every one of those parameters, which include location, access, and utilities. Frankly, it is the perfect site for a new school.
Regarding the timing of the purchase, the district had two options: purchase the land and be up front with citizens about where the school would be placed or wait for the community to vote on the construction of the new school and then buy the property. The district wisely went ahead with the purchase. The district tried to purchase the land on a contingency basis, but other buyers were waiting in the wings for this land, so the owners were not willing to make such a deal.
By waiting, this great piece of property would likely not have been available, and the district would have found itself in a tight spot: no place for the school and property sellers knowing they had the district at a disadvantage and could charge more for their land. There are many reasons to support the construction of the new high school, and I think voters should be pleased with the district for selecting and purchasing a piece of land that will best serve our kids and our community.