WEST FARGO -- With the population continuing to boom in West Fargo, school officials say a new elementary school will eventually be needed near Horace.

On Monday night, the school board approved the $400,000 purchase of a 10-acre plot of land for the school. As part of the deal, the city of Horace will allow the developer of the land to donate up to 5 acres of the 10-acre site as a part of public dedication requirements.

The plot of land could be developed into a new elementary school in future years. Currently, there is no tentative date for construction and the board would need to vote to approve the building of a new school. However, the approved area is currently undergoing new development and new homes are being developed in the area.

The site is located about 1 mile south of Deer Creek Elementary and 2 miles north of Horace Elementary, south of 64th Avenue South, according to the proposal from Business Manager Mark Lemer.

"There will more than likely be a need for an elementary school between Deer Creek and Horace," Heather Leas, West Fargo Schools spokesperson said. "But at this point, we are not speculating on a date."

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If a better plot of land becomes available, the district could opt to swap the plot for another site.

WFPS has opened a new facility nearly every year since 2012, including Willow Park Elementary in 2018 and Deer Creek Elementary, which will open this fall. Currently, West Fargo is constructing a new middle school in Horace, Heritage Middle School, which will open in 2020. A new high school, West Fargo Horace High School, will open in 2021.

The West Fargo district has seen record growth in the last 20 years. The district grew by 5,757 students since the 1996-97 school year. The district says enrollment will continue to grow by 400–600 students per year, through 2025. The West Fargo population has also increased by more than 41 percent since 2010, according to Census data.