St. Mary's Gov. Approves Purchase of Hayden Farm for New Elem. School Site

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Dec. 25, 2008)—The Board of County Commissioners for St. Mary’s County approved the purchase of a 172-acre site in the Leonardtown area as the location for a new elementary school and other public facilities at this week's meeting for $5,259,500. The parcel of land, known currently as the Hayden Farm, is located on Rte. 245 in the Leonardtown Development District.

“The county identified the need for additional school sites several years ago,” explained Jack Russell, President, Board of County Commissioners. “This land meets an immediate need and will also give us more flexibility in planning for future facilities including a new Leonardtown Library, parks and additional schools.”

County Government began setting aside funds for the acquisition of land for public facilities in 2005.

“Sites suitable for public facilities are in short supply in St. Mary’s County,” said Commissioner Thomas Mattingly, Second Election District. “By setting aside capital funds, we are now in a position to acquire this property.”

This major investment in land is comparable to the investment made in the 1970’s for the land occupied by the current Governmental Center. “That land purchase served St. Mary’s County well for the past 30 years; this major investment will meet many needs for the future,” Mattingly added.

Acknowledging the current tough economic times, Commissioner Russell went on to state that prudent investments still need to be made for the county’s growth. “Were we to pass on this opportunity and wait for kinder economic times, we would risk paying a higher price on the real estate or finding no suitable parcels,” he concluded.

This parcel is ideal for public facilities because of its size and location, say officials. It is large enough to accommodate multiple uses and it is located within the Development District. It is located on Rte. 245, an adequate state road with public transportation and is close to other public facilities. It is also close to new housing developments, including the Leonard’s Grant subdivision.

Dr. Michael Martirano, Superintendent, St. Mary’s County Public Schools, commented, “St. Mary’s County Public Schools has been working collaboratively with St. Mary’s County Government to obtain viable and acceptable school sites. This property is acceptable for the school system to move forward with the planning of a second new elementary school that will address the overcrowding issues in our elementary schools.”

The purchase of the property is expected to be completed within 120 days.

Source: The Board of County Commissioners for St. Mary’s County

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