Students at Kate Smith Elementary have about $27 million reasons to smile about their school. For the last 20 years WashingtonCounty has been working to rebuild the elementary school and now thanks to a Rural Specialized Facility Grant it's finally going to happen.
The fact that a new school is on the way has everyone from the school board to students roaming Kate Smith Elementary halls excited about saying goodbye to their outdated 1950's school. Over the course of three years the state will pump $9.2 million dollars a year into the new facility off South Blvd and Brickyard road in Chipley. The county is responsible for $4.4 million dollars over the three year period. That money will come from capital outlay funds. The current school has; security issues, a city road in the center of campus, outdated outdoor restrooms, electric issues and 21 portables.
By moving less than a mile down the road the new school will remedy all the issues. The new facility will add 60 classrooms and multi purpose rooms to the current capacity. Washington County School Board owns the 25 acres that will soon be home to the 1,500 sq ft elementary school. Currently the school is Pre-K through 4th grade but with the new school 5th grade will be added totaling the students to 1,000. The School Board hopes to break ground next month and open school doors in the fall of 2016.