Ground broken for long-awaited preschool

Published 10:29 am Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Near Strode Station Elementary School in Winchester, a grassy field with plenty of open room was the venue for a celebration many years in the making.

Located at 1799 Martin Luther King Drive, the site will be the home of the new Clark County Preschool. Ground was broken for the facility on Thursday.

The facility will cost $21.2 million and will be over 40,000 square feet with room for up to 450 students.

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“It’s so great just to see it and see all these kids’ smiles,” said Bill Taulbee,  the board chair of the Clark County Public Schools Board of Education.

The path to the groundbreaking for Clark County Preschool started over five years ago when the community decided whether to build athletic facilities or the school first.

While athletic facilities were the choice voted in favor of, few people could anticipate what interruptions would take place en route to building the preschool.

Delays due to the COVID pandemic and other factors created specific issues.

Ultimately, persistence paid off as the goal to break ground on the building was attained.

“The night that we actually voted on this and approved it, people cried,” Taulbee said. “These preschool teachers devote so much time to our kids.”

The architectural plans for the project of building the school – which is estimated to take 22 months – will be handled by RossTarrant Architects in Lexington.

Codell Construction Company in Winchester will also be involved in the project.

The present building for the preschool – located at 30 Beckner Street – was converted into a preschool after initially serving different purposes.

With the new building designed specifically for preschool education, the hope is that it makes a world of difference.

“Our facilities are the front door to our community. When people look at coming to Clark County if they’ve got kids, they’re going to look at our facilities and our education centers,” Taulbee said. “Clark County is doing what we need to do to grow this community.”

The new infrastructure was viewed glowingly by staff as well.

Kamerin Hall, who has taught at Clark County Preschool for 17 years, was asked what she looks forward to the most.

“The fact that it’s going to be state-of-the-art and the biggest and best of everything,” Hall said. “The district is giving us the building that we deserve. They see the worth of the preschool, and they know what we do is so amazing for the kids and community.”

As for the ceremony itself, Clark County Public Schools Superintendent Dustin Howard opened by stating that many would be involved in the ceremonial groundbreaking.

Jill Blanton, Principal of Clark County Preschool, spoke shortly after.

“I have so many mixed emotions right now,” Blanton said. “I’m overwhelmed. I’m ecstatic. I am excited. I’m excited for the children in Clark County…the day is finally here!”

Photos would later show preschool children, school administrators, board members, and more with shovels and dirt in their hands to symbolize breaking ground.

While the teachers and administrators will benefit much, the ultimate goal remains serving youth.

“[It’s] so amazing to the kids in the community,” Hall said.