Fayette County Board of Education cancels land deal for new school

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Fayette County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday night to nullify a tentative contract to buy roughly 20-acres of land on Squires Road from Kentucky American Water Company for a new middle school.

“This purchase was not feasible,” said Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk.

The January vote to buy the land at a cost of $103,000 per acre was contingent upon several additional steps, including final approval from the Kentucky Department of Education.

The district says over the past decade, Fayette County Public Schools has grown by roughly 500 to 700 students per year. The Richmond Road corridor outside of Man o’ War Boulevard is among the booming areas of new home construction.

The newest middle school building in the district is Edythe J. Hayes Middle School, which opened in August of 2004. Since that time, major renovations have been completed at four other middle schools, including Bryan Station, Jessie Clark, Leestown and Tates Creek middle. Since the community supported a nickel property tax increase in 2007 dedicated solely to facilities, Fayette County has built five new schools and renovated 21 others.

The district’s 2017 facilities plan calls for two new elementary schools, a new middle school and a building for STEAM Academy. The district is in the design phase for one of those new elementary schools and recently acquired property to provide a permanent home for STEAM. FCPS says it was hoped the Squires Road property would be home to a middle school serving 1,000 students.

The plan also calls for major renovations of 17 facilities, including the expansion of the district’s technical centers, and wholesale renovations at Henry Clay, Lafayette, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Tates Creek high schools and three middle schools.

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