JCPS four-year plan involves rebuilding schools

JCPS is talking about taking a wrecking ball to some of their schools as they outline their four year facilities plan.
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 10:32 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Jefferson County Public Schools is talking about taking a wrecking ball to some of their schools as they outline their four year facilities plan. The plan is an assessment of things that need to be done at JCPS schools.

The District Facilities Local Planning Committee came together Wednesday to identify schools that need to be rebuilt completely, rather than repaired.

In order to fix every single need at all JCPS facilities, it would cost $1.3 billion.

“That ranges from mechanical functions to a building, to the structure itself, to additional space for programmatic needs, to parking lots and playgrounds, and athletic facilities,” said Chris Perkins, the Chief Operations Officer at JCPS.

In order to start chipping away at that number, the committee is starting from scratch at some of the schools.

“We had already committed on the facility plan we submitted in January to building a W.E.B Dubois school for grades 6-12. A new middle school in our west end as well as Grace James Academy. Those three were already on the plan,” Perkins said.

Other schools in the plan are: Okolona Elementary, Seneca High School, Kerrick Elementary, the Early Childhood Center, Olmsted Academy South, and Westport Middle School.

Historically, JCPS renovates two to three schools during the summer. The cost depends on the size of the school and the repairs needed, and it can run up to $20 million.

But because of bonds and grants, JCPS has more resources to completely rebuild.

“And we saw this as an opportunity not just to renovate a building to keep it afloat for another 30 years, but to change the trajectory of some of these student’s lives by giving them a brand new school building,” Perkins said.

Perkins says the plan is to rebuild most of the schools in the same locations. He added that if you visit any of the new JCPS schools, you’d see how the building is a part of the learning process.

“You’d see a much more greater emphasis on what we grew up in as libraries now being academic enrichment centers, and maker’s spaces, and technology labs. You’d see a lot more space and light and volume in cafeterias,” Perkins said.

The plan will be submitted to the Kentucky Department of Education. Once approved, they’ll start planning and figuring exactly how much it’ll cost.