Fayette County Public Schools welcomed staff, neighborhood leaders, and guests to a ceremonial groundbreaking for Lexington’s next middle school, under construction at 2185 Polo Club Blvd. 

“The creation of a new school is a time to celebrate new beginnings,” said board member Tom Jones, whose district encompasses the site between Winchester Road and Man o’ War Boulevard near I-75. Jones praised the design team for developing plans well suited for young teens, such as dedicated wings for grades 6, 7, and 8 with makerspaces to encourage innovation and collaboration as well as outdoor labs for exploration. 

This building project is the final item in the 2017 District Facility Plan, which prioritizes school construction and renovation, life-cycle replacement (HVAC, roof, electrical and plumbing), and administrative or support structures throughout FCPS. 

Superintendent Demetrus Liggins announced that four minority-owned businesses — Martina Brothers Co. Inc., Elaine Allen, Lexington Contracting, and Facility Maintenance & Services Group —are subcontractors on this project, a first for the district.  

Board Chair Tyler Murphy, who also spoke at the January groundbreaking, noted how the community recognizes that our schools are an important investment. “Every child deserves to learn in a building that prepares them for the future,” Murphy said. Liggins also thanked the larger community and special guests Mayor Linda Gorton and former Commerce Lexington chair Alan Stein.

“Investing in our children and developing workforce opportunities is the key to what we in the business community can do,” Stein said, emphasizing the ongoing support for public education. Gorton agreed. “In Lexington, education is a top priority. We want our children to have the best educational opportunities, and I know Fayette County Public Schools works toward that goal every day,” she said. 

Located in Lexington’s fastest growing fast-growing Hamburg area, Councilmember Kathy Plomin said, “we are excited to welcome them to the 12th District!”

Opening in the fall of 2025, the school will house up to 1,200 students in a 171,983 square-foot building. Among other design highlights, the administrative offices and counseling suites will be tucked in each wing, and everyone will enjoy optimal views of the property and an abundance of natural light. Students will also have a state-of-the-art consumer and life sciences classroom and two art rooms — one for digital art and the other for visual arts like painting and pottery.

Safety and security are primary considerations. The new school will be intentional with traffic patterns, security camera placement, door hardware, and spaces for mental health professionals and police officers. In addition, the energy-efficient design includes insulated concrete forms for the exterior walls, geothermal well fields for heating and cooling, and permeable pavers throughout the campus. The architecture of the roof will accommodate solar panels in the future.

The history of the site and its location among horse farms inspired the exterior design, calling to mind the traditional look of a barn. The designers also took cues from Kentucky’s picturesque limestone accents and rock walls, along with plank fences and pitch roofs.

When complete, the $82.7 million middle school on Polo Club Boulevard will be the community’s first new middle school since Edythe J. Hayes opened in 2004. Since then, Fayette County Public Schools has grown by roughly 10,000 students and added eight elementary schools, a high school, Locust Trace AgriScience Center, STEAM Academy, Success Academy, and a preschool center.

This article appears on pages 8-9 of the February 2023 issue of Hamburg Journal.
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