Two new schools in works

By MARY BRANHAM State Journal News Editor Published:

Franklin County will get two new schools in the next two years, with the state footing the bill for one of them.

The state budget provides for funding to replace Bridgeport Elementary School, which is deemed among "Kentucky's poorest school buildings" by the Department of Education

The county school district already had plans to replace Bald Knob Elementary School, and that project is slated to begin this spring with opening targeted for 2004. Construction on the Bridgeport project should begin in November, Franklin County Schools Superintendent Monte Chance said Thursday. The new Bridgeport school will open in the fall of 2005.

With a tight state budget, Chance said he was shocked when notified Bridgeport, built in 1939, is among 24 schools included in an "urgent needs" category that are up for renovation or replacement.

"It had not been on our list to replace," said Chance. There were, however, plans for renovations at the school, which could have been costly.

The district just opened a new school off Ridgeview Drive to replace the old Peaks Mill School, and the Bald Knob project had been on hold until a state budget could be passed. With the budget now awaiting the governor's signature, that project - to be located at the corner of Devil's Hollow and Pea Ridge Road - will be bid as soon as possible.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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