Awaiting construction

Large construction machines sit idle at the site of the future Fayette County schools in Oak Hill on Wednesday.

As winter snow falls, Fayette County Schools officials have their eyes set toward spring and the beginning of a culmination of turmoil that beset the county the past few years.

Springtime will bring the first new construction on the county’s plan to revamp the school system, which has seen a heated debate about consolidation and school closures.

In what he called a “lengthy process,” Fayette County Schools Superintendent Terry George said bids for a new pre-K to second grade school in Oak Hill are now being accepted.

According to the bid advertisement, which appeared in The Register-Herald’s legal section Dec. 20 and Dec. 27, that school will be approximately 76,000 square feet and will be located in the Oak Hill High School school complex on Oyler Avenue.

George said that prep work on the site began eight weeks ago and that he is hopeful, with bids being accepted by Jan. 16, that work will begin on the site, weather permitting, in early March.

“It will be very satisfying and gratifying I think for the citizens of Fayette County to actually have the bid accepted for the construction,” George said.

To add to the activity, George said that he expects the bid process to begin on a new middle school on the site within the next 30 days.

The two projects, the pre-k to second grade elementary and the sixth to eighth grade middle school on the site, will cost in the ballpark of $40 million, George said.

The new construction is a highlight of the plan to greatly reduce the county’s schools from 18 to 11, including a reduction from five high schools to two, while building new or remodeling older facilities.

According to George, after work begins on the new Oak Hill schools, the county will move to begin the process on what is now Fayetteville High School.

That school will become pre-k through eighth grade school.

— Email: mcombs@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @mattcombsRH

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