Reality Check: Fayette County's proposed new high school

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The construction of a new high school is listed among the top priorities on the Fayette County Public Schools’ District Facilities Plan, which was adopted by the Fayette County Board of Education earlier in 2013.

Other top priorities in the plan include: a new middle school, three new elementary schools, a 600-student high school and the renovation of 15 existing schools including Henry Clay High School, Lafayette High School, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Tates Creek High School and the district’s technical centers Eastside and Southside.

The board has already purchased land for two of the new elementary schools and is in final negotiations for the property to house the 600-student high school (STEAM Academy).

Student enrollment in the Fayette County Public Schools has grown an average of 750 students per year for the past nine years.

New High School Specifics:
Property Address: 1970 Winchester Road
Purchase Price: $5,635,000
Acreage: 49
Anticipated Construction Cost: $59,862,500
Total Project Cost: $75,810,814
Anticipated Student Enrollment: 1,800

Project Timeline:
• Property Acquisition – Winter/Spring 2014
• Design Phase – Spring 2014 – February 2015 (14 months)
• Bidding and Mobilization – March 2015 – June 2015 (4 months)
• Construction – July 2015 – June 2017 (24 months)
• Occupancy – August 2017

Now that a site has been identified, the district will establish a committee to begin looking at new school boundaries and there will be multiple opportunities for community input.

Current student enrollment and building capacity for the district’s existing five high schools:
• Bryan Station High: capacity: 1,800; enrollment: 1,801
• Henry Clay High: capacity: 1,827; enrollment: 2,331
• Lafayette High: capacity: 1,495; enrollment: 1,993
• Paul Laurence Dunbar High: capacity: 1,559; enrollment: 2,222
• Tates Creek High: capacity: 2,033; enrollment: 1,825

Dates of construction and most recent renovation for the district’s existing five high schools:
• Bryan Station High: current building opened: 2007; renovation: none
• Henry Clay High: current building opened: 1971; renovation: 2001
• Lafayette High: current building opened: 1937; renovation: 1999
• Paul Laurence Dunbar High: current building opened: 1990; renovation: none
• Tates Creek High: current building opened: 1965; renovation: 1993

The Fayette County School Board approved plans to buy land for the new high school on Winchester Road during a meeting Monday night.

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