Fargo Public Schools' Board aims to complete $8M land purchase agreement for future school construction

(Fargo, ND) -- The Fargo Public School Board is holding a special meeting Tuesday at 12 noon at the district headquarters to complete final details on a land purchase agreement.

The district is purchasing a 75 acre parcel in south Fargo from Sanford. The estimated cost to the district is $8.1 million. According to the contract included in the agenda for Tuesday's meeting, the final purchase price for the property will be determined once the "total square footage is ascertained". 

District officials tell WDAY News First the land acquisition is necessary, and based on anticipated increases in student enrollment in future years.

District spokesperson AnnMarie Campbell said Tuesday's special meeting is to "update the agreements for dates, as the platting of the land has been difficult to schedule and therefore we have to update the dates in the agreements".

Campbell said there is no current plan to develop the land, and said development will take place in 7 to 10 years at the earliest. 

"Currently, the plan for the land would be to build a high school and potentially an elementary school in the future, again 7-10 years out," said Campbell.

The spokesperson said how the district ultimately uses the land is not subject to a public vote.

"The district is purchasing land for future use.  We must plan in advance for future needs while land is available and affordable," said Campbell.

Campbell also commented on projected enrollments at the districts's high schools.

"Our enrollment projections show that South will decline in enrollment but then start to increase again within the next five years.  Therefore, currently, South does have some enrollment capacity. Currently, Davies is near target enrollment and North is projected to be near target enrollment in the coming years," said Campbell.

Campbell said district superintendent Dr. Rupak Gandhi was attending a conference out of town, and would not be available for an interview until later this week.

WDAY News First is also seeking an interview with school board member Robin Nelson to learn more about the district's plans for future expansion.