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

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

Another issue with the current site is the fact that the campus is bisected by a city street, Taylor said. “We have talked to the city about closing that road, and there are utilities there that the city would have need to maintain access to.” Taylor said having a city street run through a campus is something the Department of Education frowns on.

The 22-acre site off South Boulevard stretches to Brickyard Boulevard, and is separated from that street by a drainage area. There is no currently construction on the property, but the water utilities are in place, Taylor said. “Another problem with the current site is the infrastructure under the school is 60 years old,” he noted. With the new location, all the water and sewage plumbing would also be new.

The district is trying to get a site located and a package prepared so the project can be presented to the Special Facilities Construction Account Committee in Tallahassee in August. If the project can be approved in August by the state, then it is possible the school could be considered for state funding beginning as early as 2014.

“This is a long-term project, but we have to get the process started,” Taylor said. Currently there are two Special Facilities projects in line ahead of Washington County School District which have been approved by the state for funding — a $49 million and a $36 million project. “If we can get approved, and if no other schools are out there planning a project, we could be number three in line,” Taylor said.

Taylor said the elementary school is projected to cost about $20 million.

 Once the school board approves a site for the new school, the next step will be to get an architect’s drawing for the project.

“We’ll probably start advertising for an architect’s services in the next two weeks or so,” Taylor said.

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