Commissioners vote to buy land for school

April 29, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer

The Carroll County commissioners voted yesterday to spend almost $1 million to buy land between Hampstead and Manchester for a high school, to be built after 2000.

The $959,500 price was $73,200 more than the appraised price of the 66-acre property at Cape Horn Road and Route 30. It is owned by the estate of Agnes Josephine Stoffle.

About 60 acres will be used for the school. The county bought the other 6 acres because they are in the path of a planned Hampstead-Manchester bypass, said Planning Director Edmund R. Cueman.

John V. McDonough and Associates Inc. in Reisterstown appraised the property for the county.

Asked why the county paid more than the appraised price, Commissioner Donald I. Dell said, "It's a situation where we realized we're going to need that property. The county is growing.

"I'm sure the land acquisition people negotiated the best deal they could get."

Mr. Dell and Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy voted to buy the land. Commissioner Julia W. Gouge was out of town yesterday.

Mr. Cueman said county officials have been eyeing the Stoffle property since the late 1950s. The county couldn't pass it up when it was put up for sale, he said.

"It was a decent buy," Mr. Cueman said.

Lester Surber, supervisor of facilities for the Carroll Board of Education, said the county made a good move by buying the property now.

"That way, we don't have to pay inflated prices when the need arises," he said.

The new high school is in the school board's 10-year master plan, but no specific construction date has been set, Mr. Surber said. A new elementary school in Manchester and middle school in Hampstead will be built first, he said. The elementary school is scheduled to open in September 1998, the middle school in September 2001.

Mr. Cueman said ball fields probably will be developed at the Cape Horn Road site before the school opens. North Carroll Recreation Council volunteers have told county officials there aren't enough ball fields in the area to meet demands.

A settlement on the sale of the Stoffle property is scheduled Monday.

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