Construction of a high school on the University of Kentucky campus to house Fayette County Public Schools' STEAM Academy could begin in July 2016 and be completed by December 2017, district officials told school board members at a meeting Monday.
In the meantime, the board will be asked to spend $290,790 on portable classrooms at the academy's temporary location, the former Johnson Elementary School on East Sixth Street. That vote will be April 27.
Also on April 27, the board will be asked to approve the firm Ross Tarrant as design consultants for the new academy.
In March, the board approved a survey of 12.2 acres on UK's campus adjacent to the College of Education. The university will provide the site. The school district will build the academy.
Mary Wright, senior director of operations and support for the school district, said the district would have to meet the requirements of both the Kentucky Department of Education and UK.
The new academy building is expected to serve 600 students in grades 9 to 12. The program now has about 300 students in grades 9 and 10; classes of 150 ninth-graders will be added in fall 2015 and 2016. The District Facilities Plan suggests that a 600-student high school could cost about $22 million, but district officials have said that amount could change.
STEAM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, is a partnership between UK and Fayette County Public Schools.
In the program, which opened in fall 2013, STEAM students take high school classes while also earning college credits in courses taught by UK faculty and undergraduate and graduate students.
In other action Monday, district officials told the school board that the price students pay for school lunches will have to go up in 2015-16 to ensure compliance with federal requirements.
Under the proposal, students in grades K-5 would pay $2.40, up from $2.25, and students in grades 6-12 would pay $2.60, an increase of 10 cents
The board is expected to vote on the proposal at its April 27 meeting.
At that same meeting, the board will be asked to approve a study of administrative salaries recommended by state Auditor Adam Edelen after a special examination of district finances in 2014. Edelen found that administrative and management salary increases outpaced those of other district employees.
The study would be conducted under a $44,850 contract with Management Advisory Group. Results would be factored into the district budget plan for the 2016-17 school year.