ARLINGTON — Arlington school trustees are moving forward on the construction of the second of three new east side elementary schools even before students attend their first classes at the new James and Barbara Adams Elementary School.A two-story, 111,000-square-foot school that will handle 800 students, Adams will open in August as part of an aggressive plan by the district to cope with overcrowding in schools on the city’s east side. Adams is at 2220 Sherry St.With the goal of beginning construction on the second new school by 2015, trustees are seeking to condemn an 11.4-acres at 925 Preakness Drive in Grand Prairie. The district is offering the owner, Preakness Place LLC, $450,000 for the land. The Tarrant Appraisal District sets its value at $425,258.Another, nearby parcel of land at the northeast corner of Timber Oaks and Prairie Hill Lane, also is being sought for another school district facility, although officials are not releasing detailed plans for the project.Arlington’s Chief Financial officer Cindy Powell said the building would be used for “instructional and educational support facilities, and outdoor activities, as needed to support district growth and programs.”The district is offering Hamilton Cash Investments, the owner of the 11.8-acre parcel, $1 millon for the land, about double its TAD value of $493,100.The district obtained an independent appraisal on both properties, Powell said. The appraisals have been forwarded to the property owners along with the district’s offers.As part of its expansion program, trustees also have hired Corgan Associates of Dallas to design the new school, which is expected to be about the same size and capacity of Adams Elementary. The district has set aside $24 million for the project.Fifteen of the 19 elementary schools in east-central Arlington are overcrowded, and if Adams had not been built, administrators say 17 of 19 would have been overcrowded in the near future.
Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657 Twitter: @shirljinkins