LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Hardin County Schools are one step closer to combining several in the district.

District officials said merging elementary and middle schools won't be a quick process, and that plans are still subject to change. But some parents still oppose the idea.

"Continue to fight this thing, if you really think this is bad for your children," said parent Brandon Kerr, who is against the plan to merge schools.

"I've got children from the high school level all the way down to the elementary level," Kerr said. "I know their differences as far as their social development, their maturity levels, the things the older kids do versus the younger kids, and it's a horrible idea to lump them all together."

The school board passed the proposed plan to combine Lincoln Trail Elementary and East Hardin Middle School at a new facility. The plan would also add a wing to the new Cecilia Valley Elementary for West Hardin Middle schoolers.

The plan now heads to the Kentucky Department of Education for approval -- something Kerr hopes to stop.

"Give them a call. Let them know, 'hey, this is a horrible idea,' and they're not listening to us at the local level," said Kerr.

John Stith, Hardin County Schools Chief Operations Officer, said the board still wants input from parents.

"They may discuss it a little bit more, especially the Cecilia Valley/West plan," he said. "We're a long way from putting a shovel in the ground and building a building."

Stith said it could be a year -- or two -- before the new schools would open.

"It would take a good 6-8 months just to do the prep work, design, layouts of the building, and the bidding process, before we'd ever be in any type of position to break ground," he said.

Stith knows some parents aren't on board, but explains that the plan serves the most students at the best price.

"Ultimately, the more we talk about the plan, the more comfortable parents will become with it," he said.

The district will host a public hearing about the plans at the administrative building next Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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