Faced with aging and crowded facilities, the Jefferson County (Ky.) district wants to build one new middle school and three new elementary schools by 2024.
The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Chief Operations Officer Mike Raisor presented an initial plan to the Jefferson County school board Tuesday night. He noted that buildings in the 101,000-student district are, on average, nearly 60 years old.
"A new building doesn't raise test scores, but it sure doesn't hurt them," Raisor says, .
In addition to the new schools, the district also will consider moving its central offices and undertaking comprehensive renovations of its flagship buildings.
Raisor told board members that five middle schools in the East End section of Louisville—Carrithers, Crosby, Ramsey, Kammerer and Westport — are each at or above capacity. And because the buildings are in the same end of the county, redrawing boundary lines won't solve the problem.
As for the district's elementary schools, several are under-enrolled and so old that it "doesn't make financial sense" to renovate them, Raisor says.
Raisor proposed combining elementary schools into newly constructed buildings. Six existing schools could be combined into three new buildings by fall of 2024, he proposed.
Raisor told board members he could think of 10 schools "off the top of (his) head" that would be appropriate for the plan, but did not identify any of those schools.
Before shovels can hit the dirt, the district must finalize a detailed construction and renovation plan — a goal Raisor says the district hopes to accomplish by December 2020.
Jefferson County's newest school, Norton Commons Elementary, opened in 2016 with a price tag of $15 million. That building has several energy-efficient elements that Raisor says would be included in future construction, including geothermal heating and cooling.