A new elementary school in the booming residential area east of I-75 in Fayette County is a step closer to reality. The Fayette County Board of Education voted unanimously to purchase land for the school at a cost of $1.087 million. The new school, which will be built to accommodate roughly 650 students, is expected to open in the fall of 2015.
“We are very pleased after much time spent in negotiation to be able to acquire land to better meet the needs of students in this fast growing part of our county,” said school board chairman John Price. “We very much appreciate the patience of our families and students as we bring this new school online.”
The district will take ownership of a 15-acre parcel on a large tract of land currently addressed as 1281 Deer Haven Lane. Seller Marion C. Clark agreed to accept less than the $1.2 million appraisal price for the property, making the difference in value a donation. The district has been in negotiation for the property for more than a year.
The remainder of the 1281 Deer Haven Lane parcel has been divided into a residential subdivision with infrastructure to be in place at the time of closing. The District has obtained initial surveys and approval from the Kentucky Department of Education to locate a school at this site.
The school district says one of the top priorities on its current facilities plan is a new elementary school in the Gleneagles area. Other nearby schools – Athens-Chilesburg Elementary and Liberty Elementary – are currently over-capacity.
A Local Planning Committee made of up community members, parents and district employees has been selected and will shortly begin the work of developing a new facility plan to guide future construction for the district. The school system says, given current population and construction trends, it is expected the group will recommend at least two new elementary schools, a new middle school and a new high school. One of those two elementary schools may be needed in addition to the one on Deer Haven Lane to address the housing construction in the area.
“We are fortunate that our district continues to have the ‘good problem’ of increasing student enrollment,” said Fayette County Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton. “The growth in this area is going to continue and this new school will be an important step in managing that growth. We look forward to completing the building as quickly as possible.”