New Garrard high school prompts changes

November 14, 2004|BOBBIE CURD

LANCASTER - Garrard County's plan to build a new high school to replace the existing one will bring about changes at the middle school, too.

"Our plan calls to convert to a 5-8 program," Superintendent Ray Woolsey said in reference to how the schools would be split up after the new high school is constructed. Currently, the middle school consists of just sixth through eighth grades; fifth-graders are part of the elementaries.

Once the new high school is built, though, the existing building on Maple Avenue will house middle schoolers.

"Fifth and sixth grades will be in the present middle school, and seventh and eighth will be in the old high school. We plan to have one administrator overseeing both of them, with more than likely two assistant principals," Woolsey said, noting that having the curriculum orchestrated by one person will help maintain a steady flow.

"The new plan will open up considerable space at each elementary school since the fifth-graders would be leaving," he said.


The district could move one or more of its alternative programs as well, but that's yet to be decided.

"We may decide to add the students which are housed at the Christian Appalachian Center. And we have our Family Resource, Community Education, Adult Ed ... so we have some different programs to think about."

No date has been set for the bidding process for the high school construction.

"We'll meet on Nov. 18th, and probably two more times before making our recommendations."

A bond issue will finance the construction.

"The money from the bonds cannot be used toward the actual land, but can be used for construction of the building," Woolsey said.

The district has $16 million in bonding potential now, and the amount will increase yearly. The high school project has been estimated to cost in excess of $20 million.

"The groundbreaking, if the bidding and bonding goes well, will most likely be at least a year away," Woolsey said.

Four possible sites

There are four sites that the board is considering. The properties are named based on the owners' last names.

* The Pendleton site on U.S. 27 at the junction of Boones Creek Road.

The site spans about 120 acres, but the school district would only acquire about 80 acres. There is a two-story home on the land which the owner will not sell due to it being registered as a historical site. The land is located behind the home.

* The Collins site just outside the city limits on U.S. 27 coming into Lancaster from the north. The property sits back from the road a bit right at a bridge that crosses a culvert.

* The Teater site on Ky. 39. The property is across from Merriwood Estates.

* The fourth site is unnamed at this time; the owner has not agreed to sell. It is on Ky. 52 just east of the old Southern States warehouse.

"A lot will go into deciding which one we choose. Of course, there's the cost factor, the site prep. Each site has different particulars about them," said Woolsey.

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