Committee, audience favoring new site for new Kate M. Smith Elementary

Published: Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 05:53 PM.

CHIPLEY — Site Selection Committee members, along with school board members and city residents, met Thursday to discuss the location on which a new Kate M. Smith Elementary School might one day be built.

Only two members of the five-person committee were able to attend Thursday’s meeting, but Superintendent Joe Taylor said he would poll the other members next week so the Washington County School Board can approve the site selection at the Jan. 15 meeting.

 “There’s nothing new here, this has been a 20-year process,” Taylor said of the plans for a new elementary school. The district is looking at a 22-plus acre site off South Boulevard on which to build a new elementary campus.

The district owns the South Boulevard site as well as the property on which the current elementary school sits, and the choice the site committee is facing boils down to whether or not to build the new campus at the same location where the current Kate Smith Elementary School is located, or move to another site entirely.

The two members present, as well as most of the audience, favored building the new elementary school on a different site than where the current school is located.

“We are looking at a two-year or three-year construction cycle,” Taylor said, “Which would mean that for two years or more you would have construction going on right there on campus while also having classes, if we chose to build on the current location.”

“Having construction going on while trying to hold classes would be distracting,” said Lesa Burdeshaw, principal at Kate M. Smith Elementary School.



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