JCPS breaks ground on southwest Louisville’s first new school in 22 years

Wilkerson and Watson Lane elementary schools merging

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County Public Schools broke ground today for a new elementary school in the Dixie Highway corridor in southwest Louisville. The 82,532-s.f., $17 million school is being built on a large tract of JCPS-owned land directly behind Wilkerson Elementary School.

Students who would have attended Wilkerson and Watson Lane elementary schools will go to the new school, which is scheduled to open in August 2022. Wilkerson will be torn down once the new facility opens while the future of the Watson Lane property is undetermined.

The new school will be just the third built in the past 10 years by JCPS, the state’s largest school district, and the first in southwest Louisville since Farnsley Middle School opened in 1998.

“JCPS is committed, with voters’ help, to building many more of these modern learning centers all over Jefferson County,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio. “These are the kind of investments in state-of-the-art schools that have been proven to enhance learning and build community among students and staff.”

The design for the new building features:

  • Two stories of classrooms, art, computer, and media rooms plus plenty of open spaces for collaborative learning and outdoor classes
  • Classrooms organized in “neighborhoods” of four to promote collaboration as well as 1-on-1 interactions
  • A gym that will also serve as a tornado shelter
  • Energy efficient windows, lighting, and plumbing
  • Geothermal heating and cooling
  • A line of mature trees which will be retained and protected during construction

The size of the site will also allow for future expansion if needed.

“The students, parents, and teachers who live in neighborhoods near Wilkerson and Watson Lane deserve to have a school building they can be proud of,” said JCPS District Four school board member Joe Marshall. “This won’t be just a learning center but a community gathering space for the people who live in this area.”

The new school has not been named.