The combined purchases would not exceed $14 million.
The Sarasota County School Board unanimously approved the purchase of two land parcels east of Interstate 75 during its last meeting of the year Tuesday.
A 60-acre parcel in Lakewood Ranch will be the site of a K-12 magnet school, and 65 acres off Clark Road east of Interstate 75 will house a K-8 school. Combined, the schools could cost up to $14 million.
The Lakewood Ranch property, which is located just east of I-75 and south of University Parkway has an estimated cost of $7.65 million. The Clark Road property has an estimated cost of $6.3 million, though those prices could decrease after the school district surveys the land.
All board members recognized the need for more schools east of I-75 as
growth continues in the area. Currently, the schools that would serve residents in those areas are over capacity.
"We're already very overcrowded in the schools in that area," Board member Shirley Brown said. "... That's an area that is growing and we need to be prepared to meet that growth."
Board member Jane Goodwin and Board Chair Caroline Zucker said they'd like to discuss the possibility of raising impact fees to help pay for the construction of the schools.