Teachers, employees of year nominees recognized

Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 03:12 PM.

CHIPLEY — The Washington County School Board approved the 22-plus acre site between South Boulevard and Brickyard Road as the future home of Kate M. Smith Elementary School on Monday night.

District Maintenance Director Mike Park reviewed the process the Site Selection Committee had gone through in choosing the new location for the school.

“This has been an ongoing process of about 20 years,” Park said, “and over the years, some of the names on the committee changed.” In October the Department of Education visited the elementary school to determine the need for a new facility. Five days later, DOE issued the finding that there was a “critical need” for a new elementary school in Chipley, Park said.

With that information, the selection committee met in late December and again on Jan. 3 to discuss the choice of school site, which came down to either stay at the current location, or move the school to the 22-plus acre tract of land the district owns that stretches between South Boulevard and Brickyard Road.

Not all of the committee members were able to attend the Jan. 3 meeting, so Park polled the committee last week at Superintendent Joe Taylor’s request, and the committee recommended relocating the elementary school to the new site.

“With the funding, this is likely to be a two-year or three-year funding cycle,” Park said. “That was an important consideration, we really don’t want to try and have construction going on while we are also having school.”

Once the board had the committee’s recommendation, they voted unanimously to accept the suggestion. The district is trying to get all their ducks in a row so the elementary school is accepted into the DOE funding cycle beginning this coming August, Park said.

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