Renderings paint a picture of new Fayette Co. high school

Vhoneycutt@ herald-leader.comAugust 11, 2014 

The Fayette County Public School board on Monday was presented with early renderings for the $75.8 million high school proposed for Winchester Road.

Fayette Superintendent Tom Shelton said that in developing a design "we were able to think outside the box and be innovative and creative toward looking at what a 21st century high school would look like."

Bill Wallace, director of the district's division of facility design and construction, said that will likely mean fewer traditional classrooms for the new school's 1800 students.

The district's sixth high school, which will be on a 64-acre site at 1970 Winchester Road, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2017.

Specifics are still being worked out, but teachers and administrators are discussing new learning strategies that will ultimately determine how the building is used, said Wallace. Shelton said students have also been asked for ideas.

The renderings were prepared by Tate Hill Jacobs Architects, Inc.

The board did not discuss the renderings Monday night. They are expected to vote to approve the plans at its Aug. 25 meeting, and then they will have to be approved by the Kentucky Department of Education.

Construction costs for the new high school have been estimated to be $59.8 million. The approximately 270,000-square-foot building would be similar in size to the most recent high schools built in Fayette County.

The district will pay for the project with facilities funding that can be used only for capital projects, including state money, local property-tax revenue and the sale of school construction bonds.

In other action, district staff recommended to the school board tax rates for the 2014-2015 school year which represent a 2.3 cent per $100 assessed value increase. The current rate is 69.6 cents per $100 for real estate and for personal property. District staff recommended that the board approve a rate of 71.9 cents per $100 for real estate and for personal property. There is no recommended change for motor vehicle tax rates. Board vice-chair Melissa Bacon said the proposed increase means that an owner of a $100,000 home would pay an additional $23 per year or less than $2 more each month.

The school board will vote on the tax rates later this month.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter:@vhspears

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