Fayette County, the second largest school district in the state, has grown to the point where many schools are overcrowded.
A school district planning committee has come up with a proposal that would add seven new schools to meet the growing demand.
“We have overcrowded high schools,” Fayette Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said, “We're getting there with our middle schools and we have very strong growth at the elementary level.
Shelton added, “We've grown over 5,000 students in the last seven years, and this past year we grew over 1,000 alone. And so we have to do something to be able to get in front of the growth and to manage the growth rather than let it manage us.”
Every 4 years, the Kentucky Department of Education says a school district must create a Local Planning Committee (LPC) to look at the schools and decide what needs and improvements should be done.
This year the LPC recommends seven new schools and some renovations to existing schools.
The New School Buiding PrioritiesInclude:
(1) High School – 1,800 student capacity
(2) STEAM High School – 600 student capacity
(3) Middle School – 900 student capacity
(4) Elementary School – 650 student capacity
(5) Elementary School – 650 student capacity
(6) Elementary School – 650 student capacity
(7) Early Childhood Center – 250 student capacity
Chief Operating Officer Mary Wright estimated the cost of the new schools to be between $200 million and $215 million.
Wright said they won’t be asking the public for addition tax funds. The money will come from a 5 cents tax that was created for the schools in 2007.
The School Board will decide when construction will take place after the proposal is submitted to them in December.
Superintendent Shelton said the new High School would likely be built somewhere between Richmond Road and Winchester Road; the new Middle School could be placed on either side of the city; and the Elementary Schools will go where there is the greatest need.