AUTHOR: GIBSON

HED: Board OKs Saltillo school work

By Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

The Lee County School Board approved a project Tuesday to renovate an old Saltillo High School building into more elementary school classrooms.

At its Tuesday meeting, the board voted to advertise for bids on the renovation of the old agricultural shop building at Saltillo Elementary.

The renovation will add two more classrooms, restrooms and replace the windows in the building, Lee County Superintendent Lynn Lindsey said. The school store will remain in the renovated building.

Currently, most of the building is used for storage, but it also houses a classroom and the school store.

The project, estimated to cost $300,000, should be awarded in January and is expected to be complete in May, Lindsey said.

Although administrators are still analyzing school needs, it appears the building will house fourth grade classes if enrollment trends hold steady, Saltillo Elementary Principal Ruth Stanford said.

When the renovation is complete, the old lunchroom building will be the only building that the elementary school has not absorbed for classroom space, Stanford said. That building will continue to be used for storage.

"In the last 10 years we've gone from 776 students to 1,106," Stanford said.

The elementary school absorbed the old high school campus when the new high school was completed in 1995.

In other business Tuesday, the board:

- Asked board attorney Gary Carnathan to further research easement questions about land adjacent to Saltillo Elementary before the board makes any decisions about buying the property. Less than an acre in size, the land would be used to expand the school's playground, but it's not clear if the district can secure an easement for its vehicles to access the property.

"If we can't get an easement, we won't buy it," Lindsey said.

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