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New middle school would free up space

Pinnacle Architecture has finished an artist’s rendering of the proposed central Lincolnton campus. The school will be built if the May 4 bond referendum passes. Contributed / LTN Photo

A proposed middle school in central Lincoln County would create changes for both elementary school and middle school children.
“Bottom line, we’ll get some much needed space, and get our kids out of mobile units and into buildings,” said Superintendent Jim Watson.
Lincolnton Middle School would change into an intermediate school serving fourth- and fifth-grade students.
Battleground, S. Ray Lowder and G.E. Massey elementaries would change into primary schools serving pre-kindergarten through third-grade students.
The new middle school would serve all students from sixth to eighth grades.
The school is included in the $47 million bond referendum, which will be voted on May 4.
The bond also includes an elementary school in western Lincoln County, expansions of three high schools, renovations and repairs to existing schools and an East Lincoln Middle School sewer project.
With the help of an interactive design team made up of Lincolnton Middle School staff and parents, Pinnacle Architecture has created an artist’s rendering of the proposed middle school.
Although things like school colors may change, the members of the interactive design team are committed to many aspects of the proposed school.
For one thing, the school would have its own athletic fields and a larger gym.
“We especially liked the gym a whole lot better than the little cracker box we’re in now,” said Dan Upton, Lincolnton Middle School’s athletic director.
The school currently uses outside facilities such as Lincolnton High School for team sports.
“It’s not only a hassle for us sometimes,” said Upton. “It’s a hassle for the high school.”
The new school would also boast many safety features.
“Everything will be inside,” said Scott Carpenter, principal of Lincolnton Middle School. “We will not be walking outside to change classes.”
Visitors hoping to enter the school would have to go through the office first. The interior doors leading to classrooms would be locked.
The new school would also be able to solve Lincolnton Middle School’s overcrowded situation.
Lincolnton Middle School was built to serve 610 students. It currently houses 670.
The new school could house as many as 950 students.
“It will be built for the future,” said Watson. “It will be built for growth.”
Changing the current Lincolnton Middle School to an intermediary school reduces overcrowding at the three centrally located elementary schools.
Battleground currently serves 105 students beyond capacity. S. Ray Lowder and G.E. Massey are both at capacity.
“The big push now is to add 4-year-old year old programs,” said Watson. “Right now we don’t have the space.”
If the new middle school is built, it would free up room for two pre-k programs at each primary school, said Watson.
Teachers and staff members at the schools would be switched around due to the changes.
“We want to work with our teachers to hopefully place them where they most desire to work,” said Watson. by Sarah Grano

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