ARLINGTON — School trustees are moving forward on the construction of the second of three 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 Elementary will open in August as part of a district plan 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, Arlington trustees are seeking to condemn 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 lists its value as $425,258.A nearby parcel of land, at the northeast corner of Timber Oaks and Prairie Hill Lane, is also being sought for a district facility, though officials are not releasing detailed plans for the project.District 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, 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 for 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 have also 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