In June of 2015 the OPS School Board gave the green light to purchase a plot of land near 60th and L streets to build a new South Omaha High School. Two weeks before that, Pam and Ernst Jackson received a letter from the district.
“The Douglas County School District is proposing to acquire for use by OPS the property described above, which is our two homes,” said Pam Jackson.
In the letter OPS stated they were interested in buying the Jackson’s property at fair market value, but had the right to obtain it using eminent domain.
“We were devastated,” said Pam Jackson.
“In January I had a heart attack, it’s just been a nightmare,” said Ernst Jackson.
Pam Jackson says her husband had a stress induced heart attack from the thought of having to leave the land that has been in her family for more than 100 years.
The Jackson’s say OPS wants to turn their two acres where there home and their son’s home sit into an exit for the new high school.
“They want the stop light. It’s not mine, they can have it,” said Pam Jackson.
Ernst Jackson says 40 acres versus the 42 acres OPS is proposing to use for the new high school would still work just fine.
“We don't want to move. We’ve settled here, we're retired. I just want to mow grass and forget everything,” said Ernst Jackson.
The Jackson’s say their attorney hasn’t heard anything from the school district since the beginning of the year. The couple says they’re most frustrated because they’ve now been in limbo for a year.
“Are we okay for now? I mean we just don't know what to do next,” said Pam Jackson.
In a statement released by OPS the district said, “We have not moved forward with the pursuit of those particular lots at this time. We are currently negotiating with other property owners around the 60th & L Street area at this time.”