Tue
Jan 29 2013
08:37:am

What's going on with the property acquisition for the new Alcoa High School? The information being provided is weak, at best.

On Friday, September 28,2012, The Daily Times reported on site selection for the new Alcoa High School. "The district is working toward a possible groundbreaking in the first two weeks of December [2012]".

Alcoa City Schools has identified 25 acres southwest of the current high school’s location. The new school will be fronted by the eventual continuation of Associates Boulevard from Hall Road to Springbrook Road.

Also, what's the deal with street access from Hall Road at Associates Boulevard to Springbrook? Back in the spring the powers that be were excited about a new retail, Urbanist development at the old ALCOA, Inc. West Plant site. In planning for this new development, City of Alcoa officials and the developer insisted there be an access road to the Springbrook community (Mills Street at Frary, Mills Street between Frary and Hoopes, or Mills Street at Alcoa Road). No discussion was provided for access via Faraday or Associates Boulevard. A City of Alcoa official stated the secondary access to the proposed shopping developement was necessary for emergency exit if a plane crashed. Now, for whatever reason, it appears Associates Boulevard will extend from Hall Road to Lodge Street, near the Springbrook Road intersection. An extension of Associates Boulevard will be a secondary access. Will the access at Mills Street be taken off the plate?

On Thursday, January 17, 2013, The Daily Times is again reporting on site selection for the new Alcoa High School. "The school district is working toward a possible groundbreaking in May [2013]."

ALCOA Inc. submitted a proposal Monday to the city of Alcoa, Johnson said. The proposal concerns 25 acres southwest of the current high school’s location and 28 acres in the Lake Louise area, a former waste disposal site that was filled in several years ago.

Who currently owns the land proposed for the new Alcoa High School? It is being reported that Kinsey Probasco Hays owns the land. It is also being reported that ALCOA, Inc. is submitting proposals to the City of Alcoa regarding site selection.

What's the deal with these parts of the land acquisition proposal? The City of Alcoa will be required to "Secure an environmental insurance policy in which ALCOA Inc. would be named as one of the insured parties" and "Waive some of the city’s sovereign immunity in case of a lawsuit". Here is some information fromm the EPA on environmental insurance. Sovereign immunity provides that the city is immune from being sued without their consent. What about this project indicates the need to be able to sue the city?

Planning for a new high school is not easy. I'm sure we all want it to be done correctly. It might be a good idea if the City of Alcoa provides more information as to why the land acquisition process is taking much longer than expected. In addition, city officials should explain the need for this environmental insurance policy and waiving of sovereign immunity. What are the liabilities to the residents. More specifically, what are the dangers from the liabilities to the students?

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