GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Parents and neighbors are concerned about the future of Lindley Elementary School.
In 2019, LES was put on the list for a future addition or renovation, but a recent design survey revealed it will need to be replaced.
The news came as a shock to the community which only found out about it through looking at a school board agenda days ago.
On Monday night, school officials and board members joined more than 50 people during a community meeting about the school’s future.
The school is 95 years old, and it’s too small, according to Guilford County Schools. In fact, the entire first grade is in portable classrooms.
The community wants to make sure their concerns are addressed before any plan moves forward.
“I just want to reassure that whatever happens, we are going to take care, love your kids and make sure they receive the best education,” LES Principal Kevin Smith said.
Smith supports upgrading his almost century-old campus.
“To be in a facility that is to 21st century standards that would be able to prepare our children for the next 95 years is definitely something that is worth discussion,” Smith said.
LES is an old-fashioned, brick exterior neighborhood school.
“We are so lucky to have this school here. It is just incredible, and we live right across the street. Part of why we bought this house is because of the great reputation of the school,” said Kristina Bostick, a parent.
Bostick knows LES needs some work, but she and other parents and community members want to be kept in the loop.
“What needs to happen is what needs to happen, but we are really concerned about … the timing and the lack of communication. It all feels really sudden,” Bostick said.
During Monday night’s community Zoom meeting, GGCS Deputy Superintendent of Business and Operations Dr. Julius Monk admitted communication should have been better.
“There hasn’t been much communication between the district and the school and the community to talk about how we are going to accomplish our goals,” Monk said.
Monk discussed size issues with LES. For example, some classrooms are just 748 square feet, hen current recommendations are more than 1,200 square fee, and first graders aren’t in real classrooms at all. Instead, they are in portable classrooms.
“Part of our priority is to get students out of those temporary facilities and into brick and mortar reasons for a whole host of reasons,” Monk said.
The rebuild, which is at the very least more than a year away, would displace students. Other projects on the list would come before LES.
“It could be at one site depending on how many students we have and what sites we have available, or it may be split into a couple of sites,” Monk said.
The school board will take up the project in November.
In a statement from GCS, a spokesperson said they do intend to have more conversations with parents and the community before a final decision is made.