The DeKalb County School District continues their pursuit for a new elementary and high school in Smithville.
Director of Schools Patrick Cripps said the district is working with Upland Design Group on the location and design of the building.
“We’re looking at land that we already have and placing the school on that property,” Cripps said. “We’re looking at possibly purchasing additional land to put that school on in addition to a high school in the future.”
Cripps said aging facilities and overcrowding are becoming an issue not only at Smithville Elementary but across the rest of the district as well.
“Our buildings are 50-plus years old and we’re at capacity at each, in Smithville Elementary and the high school,” Cripps said. “We’ve got second-grade in two different buildings now. By building a new Smithville Elementary school, we’d be able to put all of our second-graders in the same building which would be a plus. We could update the high school facility by putting a new high school out for our community.”
DeKalb County Commissioners were once split over which schools needed to be repaired or replaced completely.
Cripps said commissioners will ultimately have a final say on what happens with the proposal.
“We still need to get with them and present the proposal of the new school, talk with them, and look at how we’re going to finance it,” Cripps said. “We want to get them involved in letting them see the new product Upland has designed for us.”
Cripps estimates a new elementary school alone would cost approximately $20 million dollars and hopes to have an official plan in place in the near future. Plans for what would happen with the current Smithville Elementary facility have not been finalized at this time.