Fayette County

This Lexington school will cost $77.2 million, take a year to imagine.

The renovation of Lexington’s Tates Creek High School could cost $77.2 million, Fayette school district officials said Monday.

The renovation of the existing building and the construction of an addition would total about 287,125 square feet for 1,866 students.

The project cost estimates are based on the most recent construction bids and include design and financing fees, furnishings, surveys and other miscellaneous costs, according to the district. Initially, the district and state offered a generic $16 million estimate for the renovation based on similar projects in the state, but the $77.2 million is a more specific estimate based on Tates Creek’s conditions.

The project design must begin now, officials said in board documents, in order to meet an expected completion date of late 2022. The school board approved Tate Hill Jacobs as a design consultant for the project at its Sept. 24 meeting.

The school was built in 1965 and last updated in 1993.

With Tates Creek High making “a monumental shift” in its programming to a model that includes career academies, Principal Marty Mills, district High School Director Randy Peffer and others will spend the next year with design consultants “looking at what spaces” the school needs and flexibility it needs, said district Chief Operating Officer Myron Thompson.

District spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said both Bryan Station High School and Frederick Douglass High School have separate areas for their career academies but Tates Creek High’s current shape doesn’t allow for that.

A new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will improve the school’s air quality, said Thompson. In January, a parent and a teacher expressed concerns that mold was causing health problems. District officials have said that there are currently no health hazards.

Students will learn in portable classrooms while the renovation is completed in phases, Thompson said.

New Fayette school board chairwoman Stephanie Spires said in a September Facebook post that Tates Creek was among the high schools “in desperate need of facility upgrades.” The other two were Henry Clay and Dunbar.

“Unfortunately many of our schools were historically neglected, but in the past 10 years we have played a lot of catch up,” Spires said.

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