MEXICO — Students and staff will soon have 4.6 acres on which to expand at Region 9 School of Applied Technology thanks to action taken at a recent board meeting.

The land, which is adjacent to the school building, had been in the original plan when the renovation/addition program began several years ago. However, at that time, board Chairman Norman Clanton said a decision was made to remove the land purchase so that the total borrowed amount would be less.

Now, with the original mortgage on the building about to be paid off in two years, and about $66,000 remaining from the the funds borrowed for the renovation/addition project, Clanton said the land can be purchased without increasing the vocational school’s budget.

“It will be a wonderful asset to the school,” Clanton said Monday morning.

The board and landowner, Alan Archibald, agreed on a total price of $110,000. Of that sum, $60,000 plus $6,000 upfront interest will be paid. The remaining $50,000 will be borrowed over a four-year period. Clanton said he expects the lesser amount to be paid off by 2014.

Archibald has allowed the vocational school to use some of that property at no cost for parking buses and vehicles used for some of its programs, but Clanton said the land has been for sale. If it had been sold to someone else, there were no guarantees that the vocational school could continue to use it.

Among the school’s plans for the property are space to store plowed snow, a truck driving program practice yard, additional vehicle parking space, and once the new firefighter program is up and running, space for training. Also, Clanton and Region 9 Director Brenda Gammon, said a new curb cut on the east side of the Route 2 property may be made.

A new curb cut could help reconfigure the traffic pattern, including a new entrance for school buses.

Gammon said with the property, the school’s building trades program could also build a home right at the school, then move it to the new homeowner’s site. Right now, building trades’ students must be transported to a building site.

Clanton said the sale is expected close prior to the board’s next meeting in early February.

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