FCPS Hosts Groundbreaking for New Middle School
Fayette County Public Schools welcomed several dozen staff members and guests to a ceremonial groundbreaking for our next middle school, which is under construction at 2185 Polo Club Blvd. “The creation of a new school is a time to celebrate new beginnings,” said board member Tom Jones, whose district encompasses the site between Winchester Road and Man o’ War Boulevard near I-75. Jones praised the design team for developing plans well suited for young teens, such as dedicated wings for grades 6, 7, and 8 with makerspaces to encourage innovation and collaboration as well as outdoor labs for exploration. He also mentioned the flexible media center and practice rooms flanking the band and orchestra spaces. “Everything I read about it is very exciting,” Jones said.
This building project is the final item in the 2017 District Facility Plan, which prioritizes school construction and renovation, life-cycle replacement (HVAC, roof, electrical and plumbing), and administrative or support structures throughout FCPS. Superintendent Demetrus Liggins announced that we recently confirmed that four minority-owned businesses -- Martina Brothers Co. Inc., Elaine Allen, Lexington Contracting, and Facility Maintenance & Services Group – are subcontractors on this project, which is a first for our district.
Board Chair Tyler Murphy, who also spoke at the Jan. 23 groundbreaking, noted how the community recognizes that our schools are an important investment. “Every child deserves to learn in a building that prepares them for the future,” Murphy said. Liggins also thanked the larger community and special guests Linda Gorton, mayor of Lexington; and Alan Stein, past chair of Commerce Lexington.
“Investing in our children and developing workforce opportunities is the key to what we in the business community can do,” Stein said, emphasizing the ongoing support for public education. Gorton agreed. “In Lexington, education is a top priority. We want our children to have the best educational opportunities, and I know Fayette County Public Schools works toward that goal every day,” she said. Gorton also noted this worksite is in the fast-growing Hamburg area. “I’m so excited to see what this new middle school will bring to Lexington,” she said, “and yes, we are all in this together!”
Opening in the fall of 2025, the school will house up to 1,200 students in a 171,983 square-foot building. Among other design highlights, the administrative offices and counseling suites will be tucked in each wing, and everyone will enjoy optimal views of the property and an abundance of natural light. Students will also have a state-of-the-art consumer and life sciences classroom and two art rooms – one for digital art and the other for visual arts like painting and pottery.
Safety and security are primary considerations, too. The new school will be intentional with traffic patterns, security camera placement, door hardware, and spaces for mental health professionals and police officers. In addition, the energy-efficient design includes insulated concrete forms for the exterior walls, geothermal well fields for heating and cooling, and permeable pavers throughout the campus. The architecture of the roof will accommodate solar panels in the future.
The history of the site and its location among horse farms inspired the exterior design, calling to mind the traditional look of a barn. The designers also took cues from Kentucky’s picturesque limestone accents and rock walls, along with plank fences and pitch roofs.
Did you know? When complete, the $82.7 million middle school on Polo Club Boulevard will be our community’s first new middle school since Edythe J. Hayes opened in 2004. Since then, Fayette County Public Schools has grown by roughly 10,000 students and added eight elementary schools, a high school, Locust Trace AgriScience Center, STEAM Academy, Success Academy, and a preschool center.
Posted Jan. 23, 2023