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Pillar Falls Elementary School Groundbreaking

Construction equipment sits idle during the Pillar Falls Elementary School groundbreaking July 7, 2015, in Twin Falls.

GOODING — If you’re looking for farmland, the Gooding School District can help.

Gooding’s school board voted Tuesday night to approve seeking bids for a farmland lease. The district plans to put a legal notice in the Times-News.

The school district owns about 30 acres it leases under a two-year agreement, with the option of a two-year renewal, said Lisa Astorquia, school district business manager and board clerk.

The farmer who’s leasing the land now no longer wants it. Under the current agreement, the school district receives $6,975 per year.

The land is adjacent to Gooding’s elementary/middle school campus, built in 1995. Astorquia said she doesn’t know the history behind the farmland and whether it was part of the property purchased to construct the school campus.

It’s not unheard of for south-central Idaho school districts to lease land they own to individuals. It’s a way for districts to hold onto property for future building needs — such as new schools — while receiving a payment and having it maintained.

The Times-News contacted eight south-central Idaho school districts and of those, three lease land. It’s generally more common, though, for districts share use of a property with a city or other group, rent out their facilities for events, or sell land such as leftover acreage after building a school.

The Twin Falls School District leases a 12.5-acre parcel near the Sunway Soccer Complex for about $100 per acre annually to two people who farm on the property.

The district also previously leased land in northeast Twin Falls, but now, it’s occupied by nearly 3-year-old Pillar Falls Elementary School.

Cassia County School District leases 14 acres in Burley, and also rents out a house it owns in Almo to school employees. In Blaine County, the school district leases a 10-acre property south of Carey.

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