Fayette County public schools announces site for new elementary school

jwarren@herald-leader.comJune 26, 2012 

Lexington's next elementary school will be built on Deer Haven Lane in the rapidly developing residential area east of Interstate 75.

The Fayette County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday night to buy 15 acres at 1281 Deer Haven Lane for the as-yet unnamed school, which will be designed to accommodate about 650 students. Construction is expected to start during the 2013-14 school year, with the school opening in fall 2015, district officials said Tuesday.

The site is off Polo Club Boulevard, bounded by Winchester Road, Todds Road and I-75.

"The growth in this area is going to continue, and this school will be an important step in managing that growth," Superintendent Tom Shelton said.

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The Deer Haven Lane area, part of the Gleneagles neighborhood, is now served by Yates Elementary. The nearby Liberty and Athens-Chilesburg elementary schools are over capacity.

The property was appraised for $1.2 million, but seller Marion C. Clark agreed to a purchase price of $1.087 million, making the difference in value a donation to the school district, Fayette officials said Tuesday.

District officials had been negotiating for the property for more than a year.

A new elementary school to meet educational needs in the fast-growing neighborhoods of eastern Fayette County has long been a part of the district's plans.

"This has been identified as a need for nearly a decade," said Mary Wright, the school system's chief operating officer.

Fayette school board chairman John Price said the land acquisition would enable the district to "better meet the needs of students in this fast-growing part of our county."

Fayette County Public Schools has obtained the required approval from the Kentucky Department of Education to build a school on the site. The land is part of a larger parcel on Deer Haven Lane that has been divided for a residential subdivision.

The district last opened a new elementary school, Wellington Elementary on Keithshire Way, in 2011.

Meanwhile, the process of planning for more new public schools in Fayette County is getting under way. The district has named a local planning committee made up of residents, parents and some district employees that soon will start working on a new facilities plan to guide future construction.

District officials say the plan probably will call for at least two new elementary schools, a new middle school and a new high school, although they won't be built for years. One of the new elementary schools might be needed along with the new school on Deer Haven Lane to meet needs in that area, officials said.

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Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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