Proposal could convert Lakewood to middle school

A proposal that would convert Lakewood Elementary School to a middle school and move Lakewood students to Cecilia Valley or Creekside elementary schools could be voted on Monday night.

Hardin County Schools’ local planning committee meets at 5:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at New Highland Elementary School to discuss enrollment at various schools and possible changes.

Enrollment at Cecilia Valley Elementary School, which opened in January 2018, is slightly more than half its capacity. The $15.5 million school on Ky. 86 can house 600 students and has about 350 as of late December.

To address the problem, the local planning committee, which consists of 20 community members, including HCS teachers, principals and parents, could vote on one of four proposals.

One proposal, which was discussed during a committee meeting last month, is to renovate Lakewood and turn it into a new West Hardin Middle School. Lakewood students then would be enrolled at Cecilia Valley or Creekside.

That option would cost the district between $11 and $14.5 million. Because Lakewood does not fit the criteria for a middle school, the district would have to build new classrooms, a gym and an art room, among other amenities.

Another option is to build onto Cecilia Valley and also have middle-­schoolers attend school there. That plan, which would cost about $13 million, would involve the construction of new classrooms and a gym, among other amenities.

A third option would be to convert Cecilia Val­ley to a school that hosts preschoolers through sixth-graders and build a new building near Cecilia Valley for seventh- and eighth-graders that would house 400 students. That plan would cost the district about $16 million.

A fourth option is building a new middle school, which would cost about $20 million and house 600 students.

If the local planning committee approves a proposal, it will be sent it the Hardin County Schools Board of Education for a final vote. The next regularly scheduled board meeting is at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 21 at New High­land Elementary School and later that same day at 6 p.m. at the Hardin County Schools Perfor­ming Arts Center at John Hardin High School.

Trey Crumbie can be reached at 270-505-1747 or tcrumbie@thenewsenterprise.com.

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