Lakeland Elementary Could Expand to Meet Growing Student Population

Alternate Plan Moves 5th Grade to Proposed Middle/High School

While the focus has been on a need for space for Lakeland’s middle and high school students, Lakeland Elementary will be at or near capacity in three years, as indicated by numbers put together last Spring by Lakeland School System Superintendent Dr. Ted Horrell and based on a 4.75% rate of growth for the municipality’s student population. Once Lakeland Prep is opened, the approximately 180 Lakeland students currently zoned for Donelson Elementary in Arlington will return to Lakeland Elementary. As of August 25, Lakeland Elementary, with a capacity of 1050 students (including two portables) had an enrollment of 843 students according to Horrell.

Horrell said that while there is no immediate plan, discussions with the board have included solutions that are relatively inexpensive and he does not foresee any need to request a second property tax increase for a new elementary school.

“We are exploring options for how to handle anticipated growth at Lakeland Elementary School,” Horrell commented. “If the funding is approved for Lakeland Prep, the most obvious options would be to shift fifth grade up to the new facility or to add classroom space to LES. The first option would be cost neutral and the second option, if determined to be the best approach, would have to be undertaken within our present revenue structure.”

Horrell added that the current Lakeland Elementary has plenty of room on site for an addition; funds for expansion could be taken from either the school system’s capital reserve of the current property tax or set aside from the sales tax.

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