A Queen Creek school for troubled boys has lost in the state court of appeals in its effort to halt Gilbert's plans to condemn a pipeline easement through its horse pasture so the town can install a waterline from a nearby treatment plant.
An opinion released Thursday by a three-judge panel of the Arizona State Court of Appeals said the town was able to run the line along the periphery of most of the affected properties, but rejected Canyon State Academy's argument that the town didn't give due consideration to the possible harm to the school campus.
Gilbert began condemnation proceedings through the campus in March, and the school's owner, Queen Creek Summit, fought the effort in Maricopa County Superior Court. Judge Glenn Davis refused in July to grant the school a stay, ruling the possible injury to the school's operations didn't outweigh the public good of completing the waterline.
Gilbert has said building the line along the north side of the school's property would have added $850,000 to the $44.5million cost of the project, and the school had constructed several buildings over an unused easement for Queen Creek Road.
Barbara Ross, attorney for Queen Creek Summit, said construction to install the pipeline through the campus is already under way. Her client was "obviously disappointed" over the ruling and is considering its options, she said. A separate lawsuit concerning compensation offered to the school is in the initial stages.
This will be one of the last segments of the 13-mile pipeline Gilbert is building across much of the south East Valley to deliver water from the Central Arizona Project to the planned South Water Treatment Plant. The project, co-funded by Chandler, has been under way since September 2007.