Plot to Expand: Frenship ISD to accommodate growth with purchase of land for new elementary
Frenship Independent School District officials aren’t sure when they’ll build a new elementary school, but they can say where.
Just before the Christmas holiday, the district purchased 19.2 acres of land on the east side of North Milwaukee Avenue at its intersection with Itasca Street.
Frenship Public Relations Director Andy Penney said buying the land is the district’s first step. Decisions on when construction will begin or when the school will open have yet to be made.
“We’re just not that far along in the process yet,” Penney said.
The land purchase and construction of the school is the final major project of the school bond from May 2007, approved by 69.7 percent of voters.
Penney declined to say how much the district paid for the plot of land. Residential lots across the street in the 6500 block of Itasca Street are listed as worth $21,000 for just more than a half an acre.
Commercial lots about a half-mile away at the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Erskine Street are for sale on loopnet.com for $325,000 for a 7.5 acre lot and $500,000 for a 7.63 acre lot. Multi-family lots for sale on the east side of Milwaukee Avenue south of Erskine Street are for sale for $800,000 for a 12.42 acre lot, and $700,000 for a 10.14 acre lot.
“We are very pleased with this land purchase. Because of where this land sits in our district, it’s an ideal location for an elementary school,” Penney said.
District officials feel the area will thrive as it develops in future years, he said.
“We think with the development of a school, that it will attract residents to that area,” Penney said. “That helped in our decision-making.”
Penney said having a new school in the northern part of the district will relieve crowding at some of the northern elementary schools.
Steve Azzinaro, a resident of Shadow Hills Estate, a development across Milwaukee Avenue on the west side of Itasca Street, said his family moved to the area in 2006. They expected it would grow more quickly than it has, following the Milwaukee Avenue improvements, but for now, they are enjoying an almost-country atmosphere.
“It’s going to have to get bigger,” Azzinaro said, acknowledging not only the eventual construction of the new school, but also of the United Supermarket at Fourth Street and Milwaukee Avenue.
As he talked last week, a neighbor dog approached for a little love — Azzinaro called it the neighborhood dog — and his own son rode a motorcycle on a dirt farm road at the end of Itasca Street.
Although Itasca is inside Lubbock’s city limits, the boundary is just two blocks north, and Azzinaro wondered if a new school and more construction in the area would lead the city of Lubbock to annex more land in the area.
His youngest daughter is a fifth-grader at North Ridge Elementary School, which has the largest student population of all the Frenship elementary schools. Azzinaro said North Ridge doesn’t seem too far, so he was surprised to see the newest school would be in his neighborhood.
North Ridge is two miles from the land FISD purchased for a new school.
Azzinaro said he doesn’t believe his property values will suffer from the addition of a new school a block away.
Dana Ketchersid, assistant principal at North Ridge Elementary School, said the school serves about 815 students and was enrolling more when it reopened from the holiday break last week.
On a normal day, Ketchersid said, the school doesn’t seem crowded. But when there is a school assembly, the extra 200 students is evident.
“That’s when you really know that we have 815 kids in our school,” she said.
Having a new campus in the area would help, she said, because resources would not be stretched as thin.
Frenship added Oak Ridge Elementary School in 2009, and opened Willow Bend Elementary School in 2006.
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