New junior high in Webster Co. on hold - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

New junior high in Webster Co. on hold

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WEBSTER CO., KY (WFIE) -

A new junior high school in Webster County has been put on hold.

The school board recently met with the architect and decided there wasn't enough time to finish the project by its original completion date of next fall.

The board says they'd like to have a new junior high open in time for the 2014-15 school year, but this is something that's been talked about for decades and some residents want to do away with the whole idea.

"I feel like they jumped the gun on this and didn't have every duck in a row as you might say," said concerned resident Shari Crowley.

Crowley says she was never in favor of bringing a middle school to Webster County.

"I felt like we were being successful with our K-8 through the countywide and we should have kept it that way," Crowley said.

The plan is to connect the new junior high to the high school. Superintendent James Kemp says it's a three phased project, but once phase one is complete, the building will be ready for students.

"What's most important is making sure that all of our students are in well equipped, modern classrooms," Kemp said.

The school board says one main reason for the delay is that construction is slated to take seven months and they still need to hire a contractor.

Kemp says they don't want to rush this and create any confusion by starting next fall.

"What it does do is give us the opportunity to work with our community to a greater length in terms of making sure that we've configured the school and the rooms just exactly the way that we want them," Kemp said.

Crowley says she and many others are concerned with this additional delay because they already had to adjust to the closing of Slaughters Elementary, and now she says the elementary schools are overcrowded.

"They don't realize the lives that they've affected with this decision, and so I don't know what's going to happen with our county at this point," Crowley said.

Kemp says closing Slaughters was an unfortunate, but separate issue to the junior high. They believe the whole county will benefit from this project.

The board says they are certainly moving forward with this project despite concerns from some community members and they hope to start construction sometime next spring.  

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