Education

‘Unsuitable soil’, debris discovered at new elementary school is removed for $1 million

Construction continued Tuesday morning on the new elementary school being built on Athens Boonesboro Road. Fayette County Public Schools officials are asking the community for suggestions as it considers names for the new school.
Construction continued Tuesday morning on the new elementary school being built on Athens Boonesboro Road. Fayette County Public Schools officials are asking the community for suggestions as it considers names for the new school. cbertram@herald-leader.com

Fayette County School officials have removed the ‘unsuitable soil’ on the construction site for Lexington’s newest elementary school at a cost of $1 million, Melinda Joseph-Dezarn, director of district facility design & construction said this week.

The Fayette County Public Schools board is expected to give final approval at its May 20 meeting to spending $1 million of $1. 2 million set aside in August 2018 for removal of debris in areas that include the family vehicle drop off-loop and parking area and front green space at the new Brenda Cowan Elementary, according to school board documents. The school is set to open this fall.

Construction on Athens-Boonesboro Road started in April 2018 on a 80,000 square foot building that will be Lexington’s largest elementary school. Two weeks into the work at the site, the contractor found construction debris buried over a large portion of the main parking lot and front lawn of the school.

The “debris was as large as a football field” and “the depth of the buried material extended down as much as ten feet below the surface, “ documents said.

The debris was removed as it was encountered in the construction process.

The current total project costs for the school are about $25 million, with construction cost at $19 million, said Melinda Joseph-Dezarn, director of district facility design & construction.

Additionally, the school has had another construction issue.

Last month, district officials announced that because of excessive rain, when the school opens Aug. 14, only 80 percent of the building will be complete.

But to serve the number of students expected in its first year of operation, Cowan doesn’t need the rooms that won’t be ready, officials said. The school is being built for 750 to accommodate future growth, but the district anticipates having only 500 students there in 2019-20.

Joseph-Dezarn said the interior of the building will be complete by September.





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