Ballston Spa schools seek Malta land

The Ballston Spa Central School District has several plans on the horizon for the district, but finding land to build a new elementary school is priority No. 1, according to Board of Education members who met with the Malta Town Board Wednesday, April 2.

We're very frustrated right now, said Board President Kathy Jarvis, regarding their search for land. "We're looking everywhere and hoping we can find the parcels we need."

Jarvis said the board has looked at several pieces of land but has repeatedly run into difficulties because the land must meet specific criteria.

The property has to be accessible to public water and sewer, at least 50 to 100 acres and clear of wetlands, which are not developable.

"This whole area has a lot of wetlands, which has brought us to a screeching halt several times," Jarvis said.

She said the board had hoped to have land to put to a public vote in October, but the obstacles could keep that from becoming a reality.

The board looked at 16 parcels of land over a three-month period, but they were unable to purchase the properties because they did not meet the criteria or were not available.

Once the new building is operational, several years down the road, the district plans to close down the Malta Avenue Intermediate School. The district will keep the building and use it for administrative offices.

"We do have a common goal here for our children and grandchildren," said Malta Town Supervisor Paul Sausville, who said he would seek out land in the town for building a new school.

Although, the schools are primarily located within the village of Ballston Spa, the school board said they are not opposed to building a new elementary school in Malta and have actually looked at several parcels in the town to date.

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