Battle High annexations. Columbia Daily TribuneNew schools, new park will anchor hundreds of new homes and businesses
COLUMBIA, 2/12/12 (Beat Byte) -- The multimillion dollar sale of vacant land in the boondocks to Columbia Public Schools and City Hall is about to pay the biggest dividend of all for a group of savvy developers that includes Atkins Corporation owners Tom and Scott Atkins, former Columbia Mayor Bob Pugh, and builder Rob Wolverton.

In a Feb. 6 "Request for Annexation" into the Columbia city limits, the St. Charles Road Development Group unveiled a nearly 200-acre subdivision currently platted for nearly 150 homes and dozens of businesses.
The subdivision is nestled against the same three parcels St. Charles Road sold for Battle High School, an as-yet un-named elementary school, and a future city park. The price: a whopping $3.1 million, followed by millions more for roads, sewers, and other infrastructure.
Financed by Columbia voters through taxes and bond debt, the park and the two new schools will anchor the group's Somerset Village subdivision, which also abuts Lake of the Woods golf course.

Gas stations, day care centers, fast food joints and new homes dot the subdivision on one side of St.Scott Atkins Charles Road and Battle Avenue. Battle High, the elementary school, the park, and vacant land "currently under contract to CPS," according to a project map, form the other side.

A city staff report says the subdivision's "fiscal impact is unknown," but because City Hall "will be responsible for additional city services to the development, costs will be offset by taxes and user fees."

About his activities with St. Charles Road Development Group, partner Bob Pugh has told the Heart Beat, "I'm just a has-been, a nobody."