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School officials eye land purchase from city

It could be a win-win situation for both the schools and the city if the Sunnyside School District moves forward with the idea of purchasing a portion of the Sunnyside Business Park, formerly known as the Monson feedlot.

That's because the Sunnyside School District must look to its future. Officials must take into consideration continued growth of the city of Sunnyside and the school populations.

Curtis Campbell, executive services director for the Sunnyside School District, last week confirmed that the school district has indeed engaged in preliminary conversations with the city of Sunnyside regarding the potential purchase of the property.

The city of Sunnyside has owned the property for nearly 10 years. It hasn't yet been developed, but the city has installed utilities to it.

"The extent of the conversation has only been to express possible interest in a portion of the property as part of our long-range planning process," said Campbell.

Sunnyside Public Works Supervisor Shane Fisher said he wasn't involved in conversations between former Interim City Manager Frank Sweet and school district officials.

However, he was informed this past February that the school district might be interested in approximately 30 acres of the property.

"Just before he (Sweet) was terminated, he said we might be sitting down with the school district for further discussions," said Fisher.

Campbell said the district's long-range planning process requires the district to "...examine multiple possible locations for future school sites that may be needed as our community and schools continue to grow."

Fisher said there have been no further discussions since Sweet initially told him about the situation.

"I spoke with Interim City Manager John Darrington, and he has not been contacted," said Fisher.

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