Land for new school purchased at a bargain price

During the lead-up to the bond referendum for Greene County Schools’ new high school and career academy, banker Sid Jones declined to name the purchase price of the land, but said people would be surprised it wasn’t more.

The last corn crop was harvested from the site last month and the sale was closed. The school district paid Mike and Kathy Bravard $1,459,868 for the entire 80-acre parcel, or $18,248 per acre. The Bravards have purchased other farmland with sale proceeds as part of a 1031 exchange.

According to Iowa State University Extension, the average price of farmland in west central Iowa in 2017 was $7,377, with the highest quality land at $8,881.

Greene County Schools now owns this 80-acre parcel between W. Central Ave and Highway 30. Site preparation for a new high school and regional career academy will start in the spring. | GCNO file photo

However, location increased the value of the land.

In 2014, the 40 acres of farmland just northeast of the school site at the intersection of Highways 4 and 30 sold for $2 million – $50,000 an acre. Wild Rose Casino & Resort and Cobblestone Inn are located there now.

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