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Mandan Public Schools purchases land for new high school
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Mandan Public Schools purchases land for new high school

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Mandan school map

The Mandan School Board met in a special session on Tuesday to approve two purchase agreements for the construction of a new high school.

The property is located between Eighth Avenue Northwest and Highway 1806, between the Mandan Middle School and the Starion Sports Complex. Consisting of nearly 50 acres, the site was chosen for its size, reduced infrastructure costs and high accessibility.

"This property provides a convenient location ... while providing ample room for the school now and into the future," Superintendent Mike Bitz said in a statement.

The property was purchased from Mel Heck and Pat and Mike Wachter for $4.4 million. 

The new school, targeted for completion in 2024, will address overcrowding and significant mechanical and structural issues at the current high school. The new facility will be built to accommodate approximately 1,400 students when it opens, with space reserved for expansion in the future. 

"Designs for the new school have not been completed at this time," Mandan School Board President Tim Rector said. "However, the acquisition of property will allow this process to begin."

The district may also have opportunities to sell about 10 acres of the property to help recoup the purchase cost, Bitz told the Tribune. He said the sellers included extra land in the agreement.

The district could see proceeds of nearly $2 million with the resale, Bitz said.

The superintendent also said that the district will work with the Mandan Park District and the North Dakota Department of Transportation on overflow parking for the Starion Sports Complex and a pedestrian pathway between the two sites.

Voters approved an $84 million bond to construct a new elementary school and high school in April. The elementary school will be in the Lakewood area and will be designed to hold 300 students. The district anticipates it opening in 2023.

The bond will increase property tax about $100 for every $100,000 in value. The district also plans to use $9.6 million in federal COVID-19 aid to build the schools.

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