Eastern Carver County Schools is looking to purchase land in Chaska that would be used for a future elementary school. About half of the six acres would be purchased now. The other three acres will be purchased from the city in the future. The land is northeast of the intersection of Highway 212 and County Road 44 in an area known as “Big Woods.” An elementary school will be needed there as the area develops. The land is being purchased through an agreement with the City of Chaska, which plans to buy more than 50 acres for a park. As the district has done with other schools, the city and district would share park facilities and parking lots. These sharing arrangements create savings for city and district taxpayers.

Eastern Carver County Schools’ Board of Directors reviewed the purchase agreement at its work session Feb. 13 and will decide on approval Feb. 27. As part of the 2015 referendum, voters approved the district’s plan to purchase land now for a future elementary school and hold the property until needed. This will capture savings from inflation and market value increases on the land. Revenue to build an elementary school on the site would need to be approved by voters in a future bond referendum.

How else has the district planned for future growth?
In addition to land to be purchased in Chaska, Eastern Carver County Schools owns about 20 acres in Victoria. It was acquired with funds from a referendum approved by voters in 1999. The district has kept the land because Victoria has significant potential for housing growth. The land will be used in the future when there is demand for another school in that area.

As part of the 2015 referendum, the district built additional classrooms at Clover Ridge and Victoria elementary schools to ease crowded conditions. Victoria’s addition opened this year. This fall, kindergarten students will move into the addition at Clover Ridge. The school’s kindergarteners currently attend the Kindergarten Center. There has not been space in Clover Ridge for kindergarten since the school opened in 2001.

This fall, Carver Elementary School will open its doors. Voters approved construction of Carver Elementary in the 2015 referendum. Due to housing growth and lack of capacity in other schools, the district needed to build a school in Carver. Since the location of the school was determined to be near the intersection of Jonathan Carver Parkway and Ironwood Drive, the city of Carver has approved additional housing developments around it. If housing growth continues at a rapid pace, the new school could be near capacity in a few years.