Lincoln to get new elementary school

By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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The Western Placer Unified School District will make a decision by its next meeting on Oct. 20 about where the next elementary school in Lincoln will be built. There are currently seven elementary schools in the school district and six of them are in Lincoln. The other is in Sheridan. Scott Leaman, superintendent for Western Placer Unified School District, said that there is an average of 600 students in each elementary school and that another elementary school will be needed in Lincoln by 2013. “We only need one elementary school,” Cathy Allen, the district’s assistant superintendent, said during Tuesday night’s school board meeting. If two schools were built in Lincoln, Leaman said at the meeting, they would only be half-full and “it’s not economical to half-fill schools.” The decision about where the next elementary school will be built will be made based on whether or not a reservation for a school site in Twelve Bridges will be kept or let go. Leaman said that a reservation is when a plot of land is reserved for a certain purpose, in this case, for a school. The school district requests the land from whoever is developing it and the district enters into an agreement with the developer “to hold the land for a certain amount of time.” The potential school site owner told the school district it “could request an extension” for the reservation, Allen said, and the district has until the end of this month to decide what to do. Allen said the reservation for the possible Twelve Bridges elementary school site expired in April this year. Leaman said the possible Twelve Bridges school site is owned by Placer Holdings, Inc. He said that the reservation doesn’t cost anything and the potential school sites have not been purchased at this time. The other potential elementary school site is in Lincoln Crossing and Leaman said the elementary school will be built there if the other reservation is not kept. The Lincoln Crossing school site is owned by Sun Cal, according to Leaman. Leaman told the News Messenger on Wednesday that “our recommendation will probably be to build in Lincoln Crossing.” “We have about 200 kids going from Lincoln Crossing to other schools,” he said. Since they are already re-directing kids from Lincoln Crossing to other schools, Leaman said, it “makes sense” to build a school there. “All of the growth in Lincoln will happen west in Lincoln Crossing,” Leaman said. While residents were invited to talk about the future school site, only Keith Schmidt of Lincoln responded at Tuesday’s meeting. Schmidt, who lives in Lincoln Crossing, wanted to know if the building of the school would expedite the building of a playground in his neighborhood. Schmidt has two children, ages two and four, and said that there is “no playground in walking distance,” and that it is a 25-minute walk to the closest park. The city “indicated building a park is not linked to building the school,” Schmidt said. Leaman said that there is a park site next to the potential Lincoln Crossing school site but he does not know when it will be built because the school district “is not in charge of the building of parks, the city is.” The next Western Placer Unified School District’s school board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at Lincoln Crossing Elementary School.