• 66°

LCSD to hold public bond meeting

The Lafayette County School District Board, Administrators, and the Lafayette School Bond Committee will hold a public meeting to discuss a proposed school bond at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, July 2 in the Commons area of Lafayette High School.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss a proposed school bond referendum the district is considering, the reasons for the need of the bond vote, and the proposed solution to overgrowth, which the bond is expected to provide for the school district.

The bond is projected to be approximately $23 million, or 15 percent of the district’s overall value. With it, a new elementary school can be constructed and other space-maximizing efforts can be made at other schools within the district, according to LCSD Superintendent Adam Pugh.

“Our school board really wants the input from the public. We want to show the need and the want for a new school, because we do have overcrowding issues,” Pugh said. “Any time you’re putting something out for a vote you want to take into consideration what your stakeholders want.”

Representatives from the school administration, the school board, the bond steering committee, the architects and construction building specialists will be in attendance to answer any questions the public has regarding the future long range building plans for the district and ways to relieve the overcrowding of the schools now and into the future.

Currently, the majority of LCSD schools are overcrowded, with little relief in sight thanks to the county’s growing population. According to research compiled by Casey Rogers of Innovative Construction Management, the school district’s student population will increase by 2 to 2.5 percent every year. However, Rogers said in the first work session for the new school, the proposed solution could fix overcrowding issues as far into the future as 2038.

“We want the general public to know this is a long-term fix,” Pugh said. “That’s the reason we want their input moving forward. If we can solve these problems now, it’ll build a better future for our students.”

LES had 661 students enrolled in the 2017-18 school year. However, the maximum student capacity in the current building is 500. Lafayette Middle School was 114 students over capacity for the past school year as well.

The upper elementary school was 35 students below capacity for the most recent school year, and the high school has room to accommodate 140 more students. As each class of students progresses, however, Pugh said the problem will only get worse.

The new Lafayette Elementary School will be built off County Road 406 on land leased from the county. It will feature grade-level wings built around a central hub for students in kindergarten through second grade. A third grade wing is expected to be added later on.

“What we want to do is build a building that can grow. We want to have wings that, as we grow, we can add onto them,” Pugh said. “We want to build it big enough for the growth and make sure the central hub can house our students for many years to come.”