Kern High School District board members authorized their staff Monday to continue the process of acquiring property for future high school sites, a routine land speculation process the district engages in as it plans for future growth.
Board members opened the 30-day public review period for the preliminary environmental assessment report of an 80-acre property it is considering purchasing in northwest Bakersfield at Nord and Hageman roads.
“Part of the due diligence is preparation of a preliminary environmental assessment,” KHSD Deputy Superintendent of Business Scott Cole said.
The district also authorized the purchase of two properties — a 246-acre property at Wible and Engle roads, and a 77-acre property at Cottonwood Road and East Panama Lane.
The authorization begins a lengthy process that includes public hearings, a requirement to get approval from the state Department of Education and Department of Toxic Substance Control, and environmental studies, Cole said.
"If either property is not determined to be a suitable school site, the transactions will be terminated," Cole said.
Meanwhile, Lamont residents came out in force to once again call on board members to plan a comprehensive high school in their community. Currently, Arvin High School enrolls students from that town.
“Our community does not want to be divided. We want a high school within walking distance in our area,” said Jose Gonzales, president of the Greater Lamont Chamber of Commerce. He and a group of residents have been lobbying the school board for months to plan a school in their town.