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Update on school construction projects

The last workmen are finishing up at Tates Creek Middle School just in time for the beginning of the year. Five other schools, Clays Mill, Breckinridge, Cardinal Valley, Mary Todd and Millcreek Elementary are all still very much works in progress.

New projects come as the district works to keep up not only with the demands of aging facilities, but also the demands of an increasingly large district. Liberty and Sandersville Elementary schools, built in 2008, are already at capacity. "We are growing at about 600 students a year, of course that's the capacity of an elementary school, it's good they don't all show up at the same school," said Mary Browning Wright of Fayette County Public Schools.

The school board will vote this month to begin renovations on four more schools, a new elementary school is already planned for the Hamburg area, near I-75, that's set to open in 2015. The district is also using student continuation plans to help ease crowding. "We look at a cluster of schools, so if one becomes overcrowded they're offered the option of going to another, so we're fully utilizing the capacity throughout the district," said Wright.

A district planning committee is currently meeting to determine when and where to build Fayette County's next schools. The committee will make its recommendations in December, but Superintendent Tom Shelton has said the plan could call for two new elementary schools, a new middle school, and a new high school.

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