A pair of new Lexington 2 elementary schools will rise in coming months after the school board acquired separate sites on major roads Thursday.
The purchases totaling nearly $2.8 million are the first use of $225 million in school improvements approved by voters Nov. 4.
Both schools – unnamed as yet – are due to open in fall 2017.
The sites provide space for expansion later if enrollment grows, Superintendent Venus Holland said.
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One new school would sit on 38.6 acres just off U.S. 378 midway between I-26 and I-20 near the Quail Hollow neighborhood. The site is a half-mile west of Lexington Medical Center.
It would be the new home of 1,500 students now at Brookland-Cayce Grammar, Saluda River Academy for the Arts and Pineview Elementary. The preliminary price for the school is estimated at $31.4 million.
The other would sit on 28.3 acres on U.S. 321 and Fish Hatchery Road, a location on the edge of Cayce a half-mile south of I-26.
It would be the new home of 1,000 students now at Taylor Elementary and Davis Early Childhood Center. The preliminary price for the school is estimated at $25.4 million.
Both sites are on the outer edges of the Cayce-West Columbia area where there more tracts awaiting development.
“There aren’t two better sites anywhere for them,” said Carroll McGee, a real estate broker who helped arrange the selection.
The package of improvements is the first for Lexington 2 classrooms since 2002.
New facilities in addition to the two elementary schools include centers for vocational education and fine arts.
Renovations are ahead for every one of the district’s 16 schools, many of them built more than 50 years ago and the oldest in the Midlands.
The repairs will fix leaky roofs, replace outdated plumbing, wiring, ventilation and cafeteria as well as update technology and security.
School officials expect it will take five years to finish all projects.