Construction underway for $40 million Charlestown High School - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Construction underway for $40 million Charlestown High School

When students return to Charlestown High School, parking spots will be scarce.  Construction crews have demolished the parking lot to make way for a new $40 million high school.

Even though school officials broke ground Tuesday, bulldozers and other heavy equipment have been working since late July to demolish the school's parking lot.

By January, an old wing of the current high school will be torn down, forcing 10 classrooms full of students to have to relocate to the gymnasium.  School officials say the need for a new high school is long overdue.

"We've had a little bit of mold in some of the areas of the school and those are things that aren't conducive to a good education," said Bob McEwen, GCCS Board President.

"This will be the result of taxpayers dollars which brings to the fact why we have to be so mindful of the investment that taxpayers have made," said Tony Bennett, Clark Co. Superintendent.

Parents and taxpayers got their first look at the design plans last month.  The project which includes improvements to Jeffersonville, New Washington and Charlestown High School, had to be scaled back after residents complained the original $165 million price tag was too high.  The county scaled back it back to $100 million, then the state stepped in peared it down another million.

"We're now at $99 million and basically that million dollars did affect some of things that we will have in Charlestown.  But when the project is complete it will be a shining star for Clark County," said McEwen.

While the new high school will include such amenities as a new media center, some students and parents were disappointed to find out that the swimming pool was cut out when the plans were scaled back.

"I know the swim team was concerned about the pool.  They practice at the middle school.  But they were concerned we weren't going to have a pool to swim in.  But, I think it will still be really good even though some things are getting cut out but we'll figure out how to do that, hopefully," said Caroline Reis, a high school sophomore.

89 percent of the school will be new by the time its finished in late 2010.

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