The Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school board has signed off on the purchase of land on which the south metro district may build a new elementary school in the future.

The board voted this week to spend $3.2 million on the 34-acre property at the southwest corner of the intersection of Bonaire Path and Akron Avenue, east of Hwy. 3 and County Road 42 in Rosemount. District officials expect they’ll need more space for students in the next few years to keep up with development in the southern and eastern parts of the district.

The district added 500 students last year, bringing its enrollment to 29,000, and officials said in a news release that they expect that number could reach 34,000 in the next decade.

The property will be purchased with money left over from a $180 million bond referendum passed by voters in 2015. Most of that money has already been spent on other projects, but about $6 million is still available, according to the district. Board members voted to spend that money for the new school site and for classroom additions at Deerwood and Woodland elementary schools in Eagan.

Voters in the district would need to approve funding for the construction of a new school, perhaps through a bond referendum in 2019.