Lincoln County board votes for plan with addition to middle school

April 16, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - In the wake of the demise of plans A-C, Lincoln County school board members voted Thursday to send Plan D into the trenches of the facilities planning committee, hoping to bridge the impasse between the two groups over the best solution to elementary school overcrowding.

School board Chairman Jim Kelley submitted the familiar plan to the board, suggesting the expansion of the current middle school to help Stanford and Hustonville elementaries with dwindling space. The suggestion had formerly been the board's Plan B, but now includes touch-ups like monetary reasoning and statistics.

"This (plan), economically, will get us through," said Kelley.

In the recommendation, Kelley said a new middle school building, with approximately 80,000 square feet of space needed, would cost at least $8.5 million and break the board's bank.

If an addition is build to accommodate 1,100 students, the highest five-year population growth projection, the price would be limited to under $3 million, said Kelley.


The total space added would encompass approximately 22,000 square feet at $135 per foot.

"We can handle that, and have some money left for the next planning committee," said Kelley.

The board's proposed Plan B was turned down by the facilities planning committee several months ago, but after waves of subsequent discussions with no decision in sight, Kelley said he hopes the committee would rethink the possibility.

"You got to try something," explained Kelley.

Dividing expansion by gender is new possibility

A new possibility included in Plan D was the suggestion of dividing the expansion by gender.

Kelley told the board he had discussed the separation with a principal at a Lexington middle school that was divided in sixth grade, and heard nothing but positives.

"I talked to the principal and boy, was he enthusiastic. He said the female math scores had soared and the male reading scores had soared," said Kelley.

"He was very impressed with the test scores in sixth grade by having them grouped that way."

A motion to send Plan D to the planning committee was made by David Hacker and seconded by Mike Taylor.

Before the vote, Randy McGuffey asked Kelley what the plan meant to Kings Mountain Elementary, to which Kelley said the school would remain open until construction was finished.

At that time, the elementary would be closed and the building used for other purposes.

McGuffey was the lone dissentor on the motion.

The planning committee will now have to approve Plan D before the board could hold a final vote and enact the facilities plan, which was due last year.

"We've got to have a plan, materials (cost) are getting higher ... I have all the regard in the world for the people on the planning committee, and I'm sorry it got to this," said Kelly.

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