Special work session photo

On Monday night, Upland Design Group architect Brian Templeton shared a conceptual design for a new elementary school in Lafayette with school board members and county commissioners.

The Macon County School Board called a special work session on Monday night to revisit the design plan for the proposed elementary school in Lafayette for grades 3-5.

Representatives from the architectural company Upland Design Group were invited to once again share the conceptual design for the school with school board members and members of the county commission, who were also invited to the meeting in order to see the design plan first-hand.

“I think the layout is very efficient,” said Upland Design Group architect Brian Templeton. “I think we’ve talked enough about it. There may be some things that we go back (and revisit), which should be expected. It’s a process, so you keep adding information. The main thing is to nail down the size. Then, we will start exploring all the other avenues”

Macon County School Board member Michael Cothron added, “I am satisfied with the school size (in the design).”

Although the school board is concerned with the expected $56-million cost and has had to rethink the square footage of the project, they are also taking into consideration the possibility of being able to expand the school if needed.

“When you mentioned that we are cutting down on the square footage to 145 (square feet per student), we are not taking anything away from the kids,” said Macon County Director of Schools Shawn Carter. “We’ve eliminated a lot of the waste.

“One reason (the school) was (designed) in a linear fashion is so we could add classrooms on the ends if we needed extra classrooms.”

Along with a new elementary school, the school district is also having to juggle the need for a new vocational school in the next two years. Because the cost is so great for both projects, there are plans for talks to continue between the school board and the Macon County Commission at the upcoming commission meeting on Tuesday to consider a path for moving forward.

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