BCSD board to consider approving new school in northeast Bakersfield

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The Bakersfield City School District is in the process of purchasing the highlighted property for a new elementary school

The Bakersfield City School District Board of Education will consider approving a new elementary school project in Northeast Bakersfield at its meeting tonight. 

Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Steve McClain said the district has reached a $1.7 million agreement with Regent Land Management to purchase about 50 acres of property for a new school to be located at Paladino Drive and Masterson Street.

The new K-6 school, which has not yet been named, would be part of the City of the Hills community near Highway 178. 

“There’s a lot of growth out there, a lot of housing being built,” McClain said. “We want to create more capacity for students who live in the northeast area.”

McClain said the placement comes as nearby Fletcher Elementary School and Cato Middle School are filling up and the district projects that the area will need to serve an additional 500 students within five years.

The new school is expected to start construction in 2021 and open in August 2023, McClain said. 

The district is already working on a new school, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. The school would be located at Cottonwood Road and Belle Terrace and is expected to open next year. Construction on the northeast school won’t start until after King Elementary is completed, McClain said. 

The school site would take up around 24 acres of the property, with about 95,000 square feet of buildings. McClain said the school will be able to serve up to 785 students. 

McClain said the district has yet to close on the property, as the purchase agreement is expected to be in escrow through the end of the year and possibly into early 2020. 

At its meeting tonight at 6 p.m., the Board of Education will consider approving the project as well as a resolution to adopt the Mitigated Negative Declaration and the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program for the project.

“Once those are approved, then we will get more into the design,” McClain said.

A tentative layout for a possible new school site in northeast Bakersfield.

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