Casey school board pays $275,000 for building site

August 04, 2003|BRENDA EDWARDS

LIBERTY - A 40-acre tract on Ky. 70 East will be the site for a new East Casey County elementary school to consolidate Middleburg and Garrett elementaries, in compliance with state recommendations.

The Board of Education agreed unanimously Friday night to pay $275,000 for the land that belongs to Lina Wells.

The decision was made after a 48-minute executive session during a special meeting, according to Superintendent Linda Hatter.

The state Department of Education suggested at least 20 acres, and the board agreed earlier to buy extra land for a playground and future expansion. The architect and state Department of Education also gave their nods of approval of the property.

"We felt like we wanted a facility that can be used for 50 years and purchased the extra land for expansion," said Don Sweeney, board chairman. "We also think it will be a safe place to have a school."

He expects construction to begin with in three to six months. He said it will take very little work to get the land ready for construction. "Every dollar we don't spend on site preparation can go into the building," he said.


"We're really pleased with the price of the land," Sweeney said. He said the next step is a survey and sale contract that should be ready for the Aug. 11 school board meeting.

Five properties considered

The decision was made after the school board looked at five properties in the vicinity of Middleburg, said Gary Whited, board co-chairman. Some of the land considered would have to be built up, needed more ground for access roads or did not have enough acreage.

"We finally got the price to what we wanted and we're happy to get started," said Whited. "This price is the best of all the properties we looked at," he said.

The tract will be the best for construction of two entrances, one strictly for buses. Whited said the school will be built on a small knoll. All that needs to be done prior to construction is to clean off the land, he said.

A local committee has been looking at other elementary schools to get an idea of what kind of building it wants. Whited said a one-story structure is planned.

"We want to get going as quickly as possible," said Whited. "We're about three months behind of where we wanted to be now."

Once construction begins, it will take about two years to complete the project.

Lucas/Schwering Architects of Lexington will design the new building.

The land purchase followed a vote to consolidate the two schools in February. More than 500 students from both schools will attend the new school. The decision was made to replace Middleburg School, which was built in the 1930s, and Garrett Elementary, which was built in the 1950s. The new facility will be three miles from the Middleburg School and 11 miles west Garrett Elementary.

The school will cost between $6 million and $6.5 million and will come from two cycles of state funding. The school district gets $2.5 million in bonding power every two years.

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