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Site Selection and Acquisition: FEE-R

  • Facilities Development: F
Site Selection and Acquisition: FEE-R

School site selection and acquisition involve a diligent team effort by district staff, and appropriate facility planning, and real property professionals in cooperation with local government officials, the school community and property owners.

The District will maintain student yield/generation rate information, will calculate the student yields for elementary, middle and high school levels throughout the District, and reexamine these ratios annually. The District will also evaluate demographic and development trends to assist with determining the best locations for new schools.

Building Capacities and Site Size Criteria

The District will maintain facility capacity guidelines for each school type. The following guidelines apply:

School Type-Student Capacity

  • Elementary (3-track)-530
  • Elementary (4-track)-650
  • Middle-675
  • Senior High-1,800

The Superintendent believes that certain minimum site sizes will be required for a site in order to accommodate fully facilities with the above student capacities. The following minimum net usable acreage standards are required:

School Type-Minimum Net Usable Acres

  • Elementary (3-track)-10
  • Elementary (4-track)-15
  • Middle-20
  • Senior High-48

Site Selection Criteria

School sites may be acquired through various methods but the following issues are to be considered when evaluating school sites in the selection process:

  • The net developable size of the site to satisfy the applicable school needs;
  • Appropriate site configuration for school use; 
  • Location with respect to the area to be served;
  • The suitability of topography for school use;
  • Appropriate vehicular and pedestrian access for proposed use;
  • Drainage, flood zones, storm water systems;
  • Availability and adequacy of utilities, including water, sewer, natural gas, electricity, and telephone;
  • Geologic/soils report, geotechnical consultant and Colorado Geological Survey;
  • Compatibility with surrounding land uses;
  • Site configuration and surrounding street alignments in order to provide for separate access of school buses and private vehicles;
  • Impact of the easements and rights of way;
  • Municipal services such as fire and police protection, recreational programs, etc.;
  • Natural/environmental factors such as attractiveness of site, orientation, exposure, micro climate, wetlands, air traffic patterns, electromagnetic fields, mine activity, hazardous materials, lakes, streams, irrigation ditches
  • Anticipated relative cost for site development; and
  • Evidence of clear title to the property.

Methods of Site Acquisition

Site acquisition may be accomplished by any of the following methods:


Dedication involves the acquisition of land for school use from a private owner or public entity. The District will identify appropriate school sites and endeavor to obtain dedication of those sites in conjunction with the review of land development and rezoning requests submitted to the District.

Negotiated purchase or lease

An appraisal by a certified real estate appraiser will be obtained by the District to establish a basis for determining fair market value in negotiating the purchase price for school sites. Sites may be obtained by direct purchase, installment purchase, lease agreement with or without the option to purchase, or similar agreement approved by the Superintendent and subject to state law.

Eminent domain

The exercise of eminent domain refers to the District's right to take property for public use upon payment of just compensation. This method of acquisition is called a condemnation proceeding. Superintendent approval is required for such a condemnation proceeding to be initiated. However, consultation with the District’s attorney is recommended prior to initiating this process.


This transaction involves the exchange of property ownership between the District and one or more other property owners. In order to facilitate judicious decision making, an appraisal by a certified real estate appraiser will be obtained by the District on the properties to be exchanged to determine fair market value for each property.


An ownership and encumbrance report or title commitment prepared by an abstract or title company will be obtained for any property to be acquired. Title to the property will be conveyed to the District in fee simple and not subject to any conditions, including reversion clauses, that would limit title to the property without approval by the Superintendent. If ownership is received directly from a private party, conveyance is to be by general or special warranty deed. Conveyance from a county or municipality is preferred via general or special warranty deed but may be accomplished by quit claim deed if the countyís or municipalityís general or special warranty deed is free and clear of any encumbrances. The property will not be subject to any easements or rights of way that adversely affect full utilization of property.