ALAMANCE COUNTY, NC -- Some big changes could be coming for students in Alamance County due to a blockbuster trade between Elon University and Alamance Burlington Schools.
In the deal, the university will take over ownership of Elon Elementary School and use it to expand it’s own campus.
In return, the university will build a new $18 million Elon Elementary School to take its place about one mile away.
Leaders from both institutions are calling it a “win win.”
Currently, Elon Elementary School is located on Haggard Drive, right across the street from Elon University.
Steve Van Pelt, Chairman of the Board of Education for Alamance Burlington Schools, says the new school’s location will be much safer environment for families who drop off and pick up their children as well as university students, faculty, and staff.
“Traffic is going to be slow through this area to begin with. But when you throw an extra 300 or 400 cars here in the morning and in the afternoon to drop off and pick up kids as well school buses, it's going to create a safety problem,” said Van Pelt.
Safety is just one of the benefits to the project.
The new Elon Elementary school will be much bigger -- enough space for 250 more students.
The only thing the school system has to pay for is the furniture and equipment to go inside.
As part of the deal, the university will cover the cost of the construction.
In return, the old elementary school will be used as the site for a future quad with residential and academic facilities.
Dan Anderson with Elon University says the idea is to bring in more students which would also mean more jobs and more business for the entire region.
“Our people live here. They send their children to school here. They shop, they go out to eat. You can really tell the difference in the county when Elon is in session,” said Anderson. “A healthy Elon and a growing Elon is great for the county.”
The deal has not yet been finalized.
Both the university and the school system have work out the details of the project including design, funding, and zoning approvals.
But they hope to have the school built by spring of 2019.
The new school would be modeled after George Simkins Elementary in Greensboro.
It will be more than 94,000 square feet with 34 classrooms.