Future Long Elementary School students and families will see relief from overcrowding, traffic safety concerns and limited parking as a result of the Lindbergh Board of Education’s decision to purchase 4.684 acres adjacent to the school.
Schools in Lindbergh are largely landlocked, and no other building in the district has open land available in its immediate vicinity. The property next to Long, 9021 Sappington Road, will be ideal for adding a parking lot, field space, and an alternate exit for parents and buses, according to a district news release.
The Board of Education voted in October to purchase the property and the closing was set Tuesday — after the Call went to press.
“Interest rates are at historic lows and the value of this property is likely to increase over time, so Lindbergh is fortunate to acquire additional land at this moment,” Board of Education President Vic Lenz stated in the release. “The property’s greatest value, however, is in the opportunity afforded to us through serving our district families for decades to come. This space will allow us to meet the needs of Long Elementary families for several generations.”
The district will pay $850,000 for the property, which is being sold by Richard and Dorothy Abeln, who have lived in the district for 57 years.
“I am happy that the land will be for school use,” Richard Abeln stated in the release. “It is a big change in your life to lose a part of your land, but we are most pleased to have it for the children.”
Certificates of participation, or COPs, will be used to finance the purchase of the land, build a parking lot and alleviate traffic congestion at Long. In all, $1.25 million will be issued in COPs, with a 20-year repayment plan that will require about $83,000 per year, or one-tenth of 1 percent of Lindbergh’s total annual revenue, according to the release.
“This land will transform Long School and give us the room we need for many improvements,” Long Elementary School Principal Jana Parker stated. “The purchase will make a world of difference for future Long families and students.”