Lincoln OKs new middle school

October 03, 2003|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - Lincoln County Board of Education voted 4-1 Thursday to renovate Kings Mountain Memorial Elementary School into a middle school, a move that the board had been resisting for months.

The board discussed compromises to be made regarding Kings Mountain school - more specifically, the compromises needed to help alleviate overcrowding at several county elementaries.

The board passed the motion with little comment from the attending teachers and principals. Board Chairman Tom Blankenship, who wanted more time to study the proposal, voted against the motion by member Jim Kelley.

"I've been married 35 years to the same woman, and I was raised as a spoiled kid. When I got married, I found out there was a thing called compromise, and in the spirit of compromise, I offer this to the board," said Kelley.


In Kelley's motion, he suggested Kings Mountain Elementary be renovated, rather than razed, to make it comparable with Lincoln County Middle School. Improvements would be made to the kitchen area and office space, and outdoor sports facilities would have to be built. During construction, students would attend surrounding elementaries.

"With all this taking place, it would be the hope of the board that no jobs would be affected, except for transferring to appropriate locations," said Kelley.

The motion was made a week after the Kentucky Department of Education denied the last facility plan the board had submitted in September.

"They (KDE) requested you take another look at it, and consider schools with under 300 students and the money spent per student ... and if you can't come to an agreement on a faculty plan, then you hire a facilitator," said Superintendent Teresa Wallace.

The plan approved Thursday will now be sent to Lincoln's planning committee for approval.

Kings Mountain has 167 students in grades K-6 this year. If the board's proposal is accepted by committee members this month, the school would serve sixth- through eighth-graders next year.

About 120 Kings Mountain students would be moved to Waynesburg Elementary, and Waynesburg would move 30 sixth-graders to Kings Mountain. Waynesburg would show a net gain of about 75 students.

Kelley said Waynesburg has room for the extra students.

Kings Mountain Principal Ronnie Deatherage said his teachers, who were told this morning, were worried about how the new middle school would affect their jobs.

"They're concerned about where they will be going," said Deatherage. "I really don't know what to think yet. As long as we're doing what's best for the kids, that's the main thing."

Emily Burton can be reached at

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