School district makes move to acquire land in Sammamish

The school board entered into a purchase and sale agreement for three parcels

There may be an end in sight for the Issaquah School District’s seemingly never-ending search for property.

At the Nov. 8 meeting, the Issaquah School Board voted to enter into a purchase and sale agreement for three joined parcels in Sammamish, all owned by the Volpe family of Sammamish. The district intends to put a new elementary school on the new property.

Together, the district is offering $3,434,000 for the three parcels.

Parcel 1524069026, owned by Vincent and Marla Volpe, is 2.48 acres large. The district offered $1,037,000 for the parcel.

Parcel 1524069086, owned by Vincent Volpe, includes 2.61 acres. The district offered $664,000 for this parcel.

Parcel 1524069008, also known as the Volpe Trust property, is an 8.21-acre property owned by the Gilberte Volpe Living Trust. The district offered $1,733,000 for this parcel.

The $535.5 million school bond that passed in April 2016 was intended to cover the cost of adding four new schools to the rapidly-growing district — two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school.

“We’ve been in a property hunt ever since the [bond passed], and frankly, the Issaquah School District has been on a property hunt for 30 years,” Superintendent Ron Thiele said.

He said that the property, located on Issaquah-Pine Lake Road, is ideal for a new school because it is located smack dab in the center of the growing population of the area.

“Our goal is to always put our schools as close to the population as we can get them,” Thiele said. “This school would be right in the heart where there’s already current population and more coming.”

Thiele added that the district has often been asked why so many schools are built in such proximity to one another, such as in this case. The answer, Thiele said, is self-explanatory — this part of the district has “a tremendous amount of density.”

Thiele also expressed his hope that the location would “facilitate a lot of walkers.”

Nicole Volpe of the family that owns the property expressed during public comment that her family disagreed with the amount offered, but was excited to help out the school district.

“While we disagree with the valuation and the purchase offer, the family looks forward to actively engaging with the city to come to mutually agreeable terms,”she said.

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