LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Students could once again occupy the original Henry Clay High School building in Lexington, which currently houses the district’s central office.
The Fayette County School Board voted Monday to move that office to a building on the Russell Cave Road side of the Lexmark campus at 450 Park Place.
The district would purchase the 187,000 square foot office building from Lexmark for $10 million. According to FCPS, it would top $27 million to renovate the district’s current building, which is 93-years-old. The district also says it would cost more than $46.6 million to build a new building that would suit its needs.
“Lexmark has been a tremendous corporate citizen in this community for decades,” Caulk said. “We’re excited to once again partner with them and be able to place a school back into inventory and acquire a suitable central office space at a fraction of the cost of new construction.”
The original Henry Clay building was built in 1926.
“In many ways, this structure helped build the foundation of our community,” said Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk, standing in the building’s main entrance that features vaulted plaster ceilings, ornate wooden casings and an antique chandelier. “History happened in these halls as generations of Lexington residents were educated here. It’s only fitting that tomorrow’s students carry that tradition into the future.”
The purchase of the Lexmark building isn’t final yet. First, the district says it needs to do its due diligence and receive final approval from the Kentucky Department of Education.
According to the district, the Lexmark building won’t need renovation, but it will cost about $3.5 million to separate utilities from the rest of the campus so the total project cost would be $13.5 million.
If the Department of Education approves, the Main Street building would be able to house an academic program.
“After 39 years, the building is not a functional office space,” Caulk said. “But I have no doubt the legacy of excellence established in these halls in 1926 will continue for decades into the future.”