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Fayette school officials hope new middle school will ease overcrowding

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Josh James
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WUKY

Fayette County school officials broke ground Monday on what will be the first new middle school in the district in over two decades.

At the top of the program, school board chair Tyler Murphy reflected on just how far the new school off Polo Club Boulevard will reach into the future.

"It is worth noting that the sixth graders who will be starting here in the fall of 2025 will be entering their retirement in the 2070s," he observed. "I don't say that to make any of you feel old here today, but think about that."

One aim of the district is to be forward looking in the design of the middle school, with a versatile, open concept media room greeting visitors at the front of the nearly $83 million dollar building.

But planners minds are also on the present, with middle schools more than ready for new space as current facilities struggle to keep up with growth. Tom Jones represents District 3 on the school board.

"It's a time for our district to begin to address overcrowding in middle schools that exists pretty much across the district," he said. "And to eliminate our reliance on portable or relocatable classrooms."

Another priority – touched on by Superintendent Demetrus Liggins in his closing remarks – is an emphasis on diversity, and that includes in the building process itself.

"We believe this is the first time we have had four minority-owned business enterprises awarded a contract on new construction here at FCPS. So how's that for groundbreaking," Liggins said, shortly before officials ceremonially broke ground on the facility.

The goal is to open the doors in the fall of 2025.

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.