Elon University, Alamance-Burlington School System approve land-school exchange agreement

The agreement in principle, approved on Sept. 25, is for the university and the school system to exchange properties and build a new elementary school.  

Elon University and the Alamance-Burlington School System have approved an agreement in principle to exchange properties and build a new elementary school.

The agreement was approved on Sept. 25, 2017, by the ABSS Board of Education. The exchange agreement is the first step in this process, which will include obtaining successful building contracts, financing and other regulatory steps.

Under the terms of the agreement, the university will take ownership of the site and buildings of Elon Elementary School located adjacent to campus on Haggard Avenue. In exchange, the school system will receive a new elementary school to be constructed by  Elon on university-owned property about three-quarters of a mile north of University Drive.

“This historic partnership provides substantial benefits to Elon University, the children who attend Elon Elementary School and the citizens of Alamance County,” said Elon University President Leo M. Lambert. “The university will gain property to accommodate the growth envisioned in our long-range facilities master plan, while future generations of children in our community will enjoy a modern school that replaces an inadequate facility that is more than 60 years old.”

The new school’s location will be a major advantage, alleviating the traffic congestion on heavily traveled Haggard Avenue through the center of campus. The relocated school will mean a safer environment for families who drop off and pick up their children and for university students, faculty and staff who regularly travel Haggard Avenue.

Elon University will utilize the school property as the site of a future quad for residential and academic facilities. The area directly north of the property is the university’s existing Colonnades Residential Neighborhood, west of the school are a new parking lot and Richard W. Sankey Hall (which is currently under construction), and across Haggard Avenue to the south, the university is constructing three new residence halls and a facility with locker rooms to support the men’s and women’s tennis teams.

Design of the proposed elementary school is modeled after George C. Simkins Jr. Elementary School in Greensboro, N.C., which was completed by Samet Corp. in 2014. The 94,500-square-foot school plan includes classroom wings with 34 classrooms and space for music, computer, science, art, teacher workrooms and resource rooms; a multipurpose room and cafeteria with a full-service kitchen; a media center; an administration wing with nine offices, conference rooms, tutor rooms and teachers’ lounge; and a self-contained wing with three classrooms and two resource rooms. Construction on the school is projected to start in spring 2018, with the school ready for the opening of school in fall 2019.