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Lincoln, Linn State to Buy JCHS

Leaders from Lincoln University and Linn State Technical College announced Monday morning an agreement to buy the current Jefferson City High School campus if taxpayers allow the district to go ahead with a new construction plan.The agreement sells JCHS and the Simonsen Ninth Grade Center to Lincoln University for $8.39 million. Linn State would purchase the Nichols Career Center building for $1.71 million.Under the agreement, both LU and Linn State will be required to start making payments as soon as JCPS gets voter approval for a $0.55 bond and levy issue. Superintendent Brian Mitchell told ABC 17 News Monday that issue could show up on a ballot as early as April 2013.Lincoln University leaders said the expansion would allow the school to grow both its nursing and music programs, as well as expand general education courses. Lincoln is still searching for a new university president, but interim president Connie Hamacher said there will be lots of opportunity for input once the new property is in their control.Linn State would use the Nichols space for expansion of the current nursing, dental and medical radiology programs already in use by the career center. Donald Claycomb, president, told reporters Monday the school didn’t want to duplicate programs from its current campus and would work with local business leaders to design courses and programs in-house.ABC 17 News has followed plans for a move away from the current campus on Stadium and Jay for nearly one year now. And just two months ago, Jefferson City Public Schools officials announced the purchase of more than 200 acres of land off Highway 179 for the construction of a new high school campus.The current Jefferson City High School building is nearly 60 years old. District officials said Monday JCPS would maintain ownership of Thorpe Gordon Elementary School which also sits on the campus, but Linn State would have right of first refusal should the district decide to sell it at a later date.

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