The Marshall County Board of Education is moving forward with the consolidation of more than 500 students from Benton and South Marshall middle schools.
Superintendent Trent Lovett said the board approved design schematics last week for the $19 million project, which will now go to the Kentucky Department of Education for approval. He said, with the new school's location off of U.S. 641's bypass, much attention was given to traffic flow.
“We had met with the Kentucky Department of Transportation on the entrance," Lovett said. "They want to make sure we have the ample space so that vehicles won’t be backed up onto 641.”
Lovett said the board’s plan is to open the school in August of 2016. The existing Benton Middle School property will probably be demolished, according to Lovett, to make way for more parking for nearby Benton Elementary School. Lovett said it's unclear what will happen to the South Marshall property.
Lovett says the new school will not necessarily mean a reduction or increase in the schools’ combined staff.
"We do share some teachers now between those two schools, so that will be an opportunity instead of having to share between schools, they will be housed at one location," Lovett said.
The name of the new middle school has not yet been decided.