Durham, North Carolina — Durham Public Schools is building new schools to cope with the growing population.
Lyons Farm Elementary School will open to students in August, while the new Northern Secondary School will open next fall.
Construction on Lyons Farm ensured the preservation of the original farm foundations and retained trees protecting the building from the road. The new school will reduce overcrowding pressure on other schools in the system.
The brand new building is the first elementary school built by DPS in a decade. It’s 85,000 square feet, sitting on 46 acres, with a price tag of $39,611,923.
Fredrick Davis II is the executive director of building services for Durham Public Schools.
“This school is designed for a maximum capacity of 650. Currently, we are looking at enrollment of approximately 400 to 450 in the first year,” Davis said. “When you look at Durham and the Triangle area and the growth you see in the commercial and residential community, it’s important that we provide adequate educational spaces to accommodate that growth.”
The new school showcases the North Carolina landscape, from the mountains to the coast.
Davis said the new building’s infrastructure is designed to be educational and welcoming.
“We know that kids in K-12 spend the majority of their adolescence in the classroom, so we want to make sure it’s dynamic, engaging, so they’re excited to come back to school, and not I don’t want to leave,” Davis said.
The new Northern High School will be on Roxboro Street; the current building dates from 1953.
“The new school will be built to accommodate some of the special programs at Northern High School,” school board president Bettina Umstead said, citing the new kitchen and auditorium.
The new building will be 250,000 square feet, on 227 acres, at a cost of $96,016,315.
Umstead said existing schools will also get upgrades over the next few years.
“This will include classrooms, larger dining halls and gymnasiums for our students to learn and grow, and many of these schools will also have a facelift, as they were built many, many years ago,” Umstead said. .
DPS also has another new elementary school opening next fall. It will be on South Roxboro Road, covering 33 acres and costing $49,326,165.
The DPS website shows renovations and expansions of several other schools, listed below:
- Mangum Elementary School: $5,194,696
- Morehead Montessori Magnetic School: $5,024,524
- Club Boulevard Magnet Elementary School: $7,103,847
- Bethesda Elementary School: $11,182,992
- Holt Magnet Elementary School: $16,819,783
- Glenn Elementary School: $12,878,014