School board hears report from Chartwells

Published: Monday, June 10, 2013 at 07:30 PM.

Greg Kelly of CRA Architects also showed drawings of the proposed Kate M. Smith Elementary School.

Superintendent Joe Taylor said the school construction is expected to cost more than $33 million, and will be funded over a three-year period. Of that $33 million, $7.6 million is the cost of removing the old elementary school, Taylor said.

In January, the school board approved the 22-plus acre site between South Boulevard and Brickyard Road as the future home of Kate M. Smith Elementary School.

At the January meeting, 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 2012, 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.

The board selected CRA Architects to create plans for the new school, and Kelly said these documents are necessary “to hold our place with the Department of Education.”

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