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New Lexington middle school back on agenda, despite rising costs

Josh James

Shelved plans for a new middle school in Lexington are back on the agenda at Monday night’s Fayette County School Board meeting.

District leaders pumped the brakes on a plan for a new middle school on Polo Club Boulevard back in November 2021, after cost estimates ballooned from $47 million to over $70 million.

One hope, at the time, was that inflation and prices might calm down.

"As far as being good stewards of our taxpayers money... we should wait because the markets are just terribly unstable," board member Christy Morris said.

But other board members argued for pressing ahead.

"Our middle schools are really overcrowded. Our students are feeling it. Our teachers are feeling it. And we need to work on a plan," Stephanie Spires said.

Ultimately the board opted to wait, with the superintendent presenting some temporary solutions. But the Herald-Leaderreports the new school plans are back on the menu at the board’s scheduled meeting Monday night, as leaders continue to grapple with overcrowding. That’s amid ever-rising inflation that has pushed the cost of the potential middle school project to over $96 million.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.