Hickory Creek Elementary may be getting a new school entrance.
The Warren County Board of Education gave Director of Schools Grant Swallows permission Monday night to start negotiations to purchase 12 acres of land with the intent of providing the school with its own entrance.
Currently, Hickory Creek’s entrance is shared with Warren County High School, which causes much congestion. Although a plan for a new entrance is still in the discussion phase, Swallows said he’d like to see this project done by next school year.
“I would like to say that it’s a two-month process,” said Swallows, who admits it will take much longer than that. “We haven’t even acquired the land yet.”
The plot of land is located to the right of the guard shack and would be accessed from Vervilla Road. The property goes all the way to the tree line of the next property.
Swallows added, “The initial idea is for the new entrance to go into the existing parking lot.”
He said school officials want to avoid having to restructure Hickory Creek’s current parking lot.
The current asking price for the land is $325,000 so Swallows asked the School Board at its meeting Monday for approval to make an offer. Swallows told the School Board the sellers also want to donate $100,000 back to the school system as a tax write-off which would help with funding the project.
“We’ve talked about a number of opportunities we have with that land,” Swallows told the School Board. “But primarily, one of the most important things in my mind, is Hickory Creek has always kind of needed its own entrance there because of the traffic.”
Swallows said other projects for that land would be considered, but added, “If the land is acquired, the new entrance is what we’re looking at first.”
There are conflicting reports on the possibility that ESSER funds, the federal grant money the school system received for COVID relief, could be used for this project. However, Swallows believes the school system has the money regardless of whether federal funds can be used.
The School Board approved the motion unanimously, and WCS can now place an offer for the land.