Pineview, Saluda River could remain open, new school size be reduced

The Lexington School District 2 Board voted to explore options that could keep Pineview Elementary Lex2Nightand Saluda River Academy for the Arts, open.

When a $225 million bond referendum was passed by voters in November 2014, the plan was to build a mega elementary school. That school – on Henbet Drive –  would house kindergarten-through-fifth grade students from BC Grammar No. 1, Pineview and Saluda River. But as the potential population of the school rose to 1,750 and the cost to prepare the school site for traffic volume increased, district officials are reconsidering the initial plan.

At Thursday’s meeting, the board voted to explore a plan that would keep Pineview and Saluda River open as primary (kindergarten-through- second-grade) schools. And the new school to be built on the Henbet site would be a third-grade-through-fifth-grade school, with around 850 students.

But the change will result in some effort.

“We will have to re-sell it to the community,” said Board member Cindy Kessler. She said the idea should be presented to the public and see what the general consensus is. There was talk among the board that some parents would like to keep the smaller schools, with the community feel, opened.

Kessler said feedback from the community, including the task force that promoted the referendum to build new schools, should be sought before a decision is made.

If the plan to keep Pineview and Saluda River open is adopted, those schools would be reviewed for remodeling.

“It may be cost prohibitive,” said Superintendent Bill James, of the plan to fix up the older schools. And everyone agreed to take a wait-and-see-approach.


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