With a vote just three days before the deadline to reach an agreement on a new Norterra-area school, Deer Valley Unified School District School Board voted last night 3-2 to approve a land-swap agreement to allow the district to construct a K-8 school on a set parcel within USAA’s Union Park residential development under construction near 19th Avenue and Happy Valley Road.
In exchange for the 12-acre site, DVUSD will give USAA 14 acres it owns and had no intentions of developing in the near future, at 43rd Avenue and Alameda Road, about four miles away.
DVUSD has current bond-fund authorization from an election held in 2013 for the construction of a new elementary school. The agreement now obligates the district to use those funds for this particular school with a provision that construction must begin after the 200th home closing within the USAA development.
No other elementary schools are in the plans within in this area to accommodate the expected influx of 1,125 students from Union Park (at buildout, 1,200 single-family houses and 800 multi-family homes are expected) and other developments between Happy Valley and Dove Valley roads.
As of mid-2017, the district’s enrollment projections indicated no new high school will be needed in the near term, but a site is reserved for one in North Phoenix should the need arise.
Editor’s Note: The Jan. 17 issue of In&Out Magazine will have an in-depth report on the planned new school, along with comments from board members who voted for and against it.