PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) -- Portsmouth school officials are considering building a new middle school to reduce class size. They are also looking into replacing an older elementary school.

Portsmouth Public Schools brought in Kahn Construction Company to study facilities. The company found some schools are overcrowded and aging. To address overcrowding, the district wants to build a new middle school. That could cost anywhere from $38.5 to just over $40 million.

"Portsmouth for a long time had four middle schools and then they consolidated those down to three. And we're finding that the three middle schools aren't providing enough space for our students," said Scott Ziegler, with the district.

Currently, Portsmouth middle schools only hold seventh and eighth graders.

"And the national model generally is a middle school that includes sixth, seventh, and eighth grade," he said.

The districts said it would take sixth graders out of elementary and assign them to a middle school.

The next priority is to replace aging Churchland Elementary. That could cost just over $29 million according to the study. The construction company also recommended other elementary and middle schools be renovated and eventually replaced. But for now, the district is focused on the two new schools.

In late March leaders plan on asking the city to provide $2.5 to $4.6 million to start on the design phase.