Jefferson County Public Schools has begun the process to build a new elementary school in the northeastern part of the county.

The Jefferson County Board of Education on Monday night approved the proposal to construct a $15 million school at Norton Commons.

The school will serve students residing in elementary school cluster 10.

The need for the new elementary school stems from population growth estimates for the already overcrowded area, school officials said. The school district recently undertook a facilities review that considered data on current and future demographics in the county.

The board voted 5-1 to approve the measure. Board member Chuck Haddaway was not present for the meeting.

Board member Diane Porter voted against the proposal.

“I voted no because I have elementary schools I my district that currently have available seats, and I think there should be some obligation to fill schools where we have empty seats,” Porter said.

The Kentucky Department of Education must OK the application, according to state policy. Once approved, JCPS can hire an architect or engineer to guide the process.

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.