The Glen Rose ISD Board of Trustees announced the purchase of 89.87 acres after an executive session at the Jan. 19 school board meeting.

The property is located on the east-end of town near the Texas Amphitheater.

Superintendent Wayne Rotan said an agreement was reached between the landowner and the district without the outside help of a real estate agent. The district was able to purchase the property for $1,500 an acre less than the appraised value.

Funds for the purchase came from a $30 million bond, approved by voters in 1997.

In 2006, the board approved the sale of $5.8 million in bond money and an additional $6.2 million in 2007.

“When we sold those bonds, one of the things we budgeted and planned for was the construction of new schools,” Rotan said. “There’s lots of options and nothing has been set.”

Rotan said that while the district does not have any immediate plans to develop the property, the acreage would easily accommodate future growth needs and is large enough to fit three campuses.

The district has faced an average student population growth of one percent a year. Working with projections, Rotan said the district would face the need for new campuses in the next 10 years.

“Right now we’re land locked,” Rotan said. “The district has some tough choices to make between adding classrooms or new campuses.”

One of the main areas of concern is a capacity limit at the elementary campus.

As of November 7, 2008, 447 students were enrolled at the elementary campus, which has a capacity of 728 students. The students will eventually move up to the intermediate campus, which as a capacity of 612. Rotan projects the intermediate will reach 85 percent capacity in the academic year 2018-2019.

At that point, the district will either need to add classrooms or build a new campus.

One option would be to add about seven rooms at the intermediate, which would raise capacity levels to 728 students - the same as the elementary.

Another option would be to pull out fifth and sixth grades to create a new campus.

Rotan is also not certain how the construction of two new reactors at Comanche Peak would affect enrollment numbers in the district, although he does anticipate in increase in student numbers. He also added that highway construction, connecting Cleburne and Fort Worth, might excel growth more than anything else once it is completed. The new highway would make commutes easier, allowing more people to move out of the Metroplex area and possibly into Somervell County.

“There are a lot of unknown variables, but you have to be prepared for them,” Rotan said.

A new elementary campus would require approximately 10 to 15 acres. A high school would need 30 acres to accommodate campus and sporting facilities. A new junior high campus would need 20 to 25 acres.

The property also came with 13 head of longhorn cattle. Rotan said the cattle would be sold and the money would be invested and used as a perpetual scholarship fund for Glen Rose graduates.