JCPS facilities plan to use existing space, move some programs - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS facilities plan to use existing space, move some programs

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Leaders in Jefferson County Public Schools say the district needs more room, in the right neighborhoods, to accommodate more students over the next four years.

So, it wants to move some of its youngest and potentially most vulnerable from several schools to free up more classroom space.

The proposed moves are in lieu of building several new schools, which the district cannot afford.

Schools in the east and northeast parts of Louisville are most in need. That's where elementary schools are already crowded and could be over capacity in 2017 and 2018. District enrollment is projected to top 102,000 in that time.

"What we're looking at (is) using the space that we have," said superintendent Donna Hargens Monday night.

JCPS chief operating officer Mike Raisor said the district's current facilities should offer enough space for 2014-2015 and beyond. However, taking full advantage might include centralizing early childhood, English as a second language (Newcomer Academy) and alternative school students in buildings central to the places where most of them live -- the west end, southwest Louisville and areas of central Louisville that stretch south of downtown to the Bullitt County line. 

"Many are there now, because that's where the space is," Raisor said. In other cases, "It's just something added on to a school."

JCPS predicts 3-5,000 alternative students to be enrolled, a number expected to grow because of new state law that raised the dropout age to 18, Raisor said.

Hargens says plans to build a new school at Norton Commons are also under consideration. Developers kept an 11-acre lot clear for several years for a new elementary school. JCPS has roughly a year left to begin construction plans or lose the land's donation.

The school board will vote on its facilities plan in June. It will have an effective date of 2015.

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