JCPS looking to build 1 middle, 3 elementary schools by 2024

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Jefferson County Public Schools is in need of an additional middle school in east Louisville and would like to build three new elementary schools to replace aging facilities.

The plan to build the new schools was approved by the district's local planning committee on Monday.

Now, the Kentucky Department of Education will review the plan and then send it back to the local planning committee. The committee will approve it again and then send it to the school board and then back to the Kentucky Board of Education.

Chief Operations Officer Mike Raisor says out of the district's five east end middle schools – Carrithers, Crosby, Kammerer, Ramsey and Westport – three are over capacity and two are over 90 percent capacity.

"There is not a simple redistricting solution," Raiser said in a press release. "We are in need of an additional school to accommodate the growth and need in the eastern part of the county."

The cost for a new middle school is approximately $30 million, while each elementary school would cost $15 to $20 million.

According to a timeline provided to the school board, JCPS would seek to purchase land for the new middle school before the end of 2018, with the board voting to approve the school in early 2019. The district would spend several months on the design phase and construction would begin in 2020, with an estimated opening in time for the 2021-22 year.

The new elementary schools would be up for approval one at a time, starting in 2019, with estimated openings in 2022, 2023 and 2024.

The district would also like to consolidate its two central office buildings, the VanHoose Education Center and the LAM Building, to one new modern, energy efficient location. Right now, the two central office buildings need more than $50 million in renovations.

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