Plan for new middle school in Lexington is now 50% over budget

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 11:50 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - School leaders in Fayette County are concerned about the cost of a new middle school in the Hamburg area.

At Monday night’s school board meeting, officials found out bid prices for the school construction have gone way up.

School leaders have known for a while that the Hamburg area in Lexington is growing and a new school is going to be necessary. However, the revelation that building that school is going to cost significantly more than they had planned is forcing officials to rethink things.

Originally developed in 2013, the construction of a new middle school on Polo Club Blvd. is the next big project on the school district’s development plan.

Now, the cost for that school is nearly $23 million more than initially planned.

“Construction costs are increasing and they are increasing significantly,” said Myron Thompson, FCPS Chief Operating Officer. “The pandemic has, unfortunately, caught up with us at this particular point.”

Thompson that material costs have gone up over time. In fact, the $12.6 million cost of materials is a 50% increase from the initial plan.

All totaled, the project is 52.4% over budget, the most for school projects in this last year.

“Routinely, we are seeing 20-25% increases across the state. It appears that this is the largest school project to go to market since last spring,” Thompson said. “So, I think unfortunately this is just the new normal.”

Board members decided to give themselves a bit more time before making the decision to proceed with the bid as is or put plans for the school on hold, for the time being.

Members decided they wanted to see more details about future projections and historical data when it comes to brining in money.

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