TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

June 18, 2014

School construction on schedule

Board members learn about Pleasant View Elementary progress

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

The new Pleasant View Elementary School continues to be on its construction schedule, Whitley County Board of Education members learned Tuesday.

During a special-called meeting of the board, Larry Siler, the site superintendent, and Sandra Honaker, project manager, updated board members on the progress of the new elementary school.

As of right now, Honaker said the building pad was complete, and that includes for the gymnasium.

Leach fill lines have been installed, and 18 of the planned geothermal wells have been drilled.

“Progress is pretty good (through) there,” Honaker said.

It could also lead to getting the new sewer system online within the next 30 days.

Siler said there has been some issues with the geothermal wells. On one hand, he explained that crews were drilling “six, almost seven wells a day, which is good.”

However, those drilled wells are running 140-150 gallons of water per minute, which Siler said “could’ve caused an EPA issue.”

He added while no EPA issue surfaced, they have time to solve the issue, as they are somewhat ahead of schedule.

As part of the school project, three change orders were set before the board for approval.

The first involved McNeil Contractors for $7,500 — apparently there were three underground septic tanks which needed removal — none of which were known to have existed.

The second change order involved two companies — Tennessee River Steel and Rising Sun Developing. This was to approve a change in material used for simpler, easier installation of blocking material, Siler said.

This means an increase of $1,679.31 to Rising Sun, and a credit for $3,514 from Tennessee River Steel.

Board chairman Larry Lambdin made the motion to approve these change orders, with a second from Board vice-chairman J.E. Jones. Board members were unanimous with this decision.

In other board of education business:

— Student delivery targets concerning the annual spring testing appear to have gone well, according to Deputy Superintendent Paula Trickett.

Trickett explained to board members that during the last 14 days of school, she, Superintendent Scott Paul and Paula Rickett, K-8 instructional supervisor and Title 1 director, visited the schools in the system. Principals at those schools all reported things were going well, Trickett said.

One note Trickett made concerned ACT testing — she said preliminary results showed a possible “slight increase” in performance.

Official results won’t be available until August or September, she said.

“We’re pleased with spring testing,” she said.

She also noted that in an effort to continue success with the student testing, a new reading series has been purchased and will be implemented during the next school year.

Trickett said it had been “at least eight years” since the school system last incorporated a new reading series.

“It’s tied to the new Core Content,” Trickett said, referring to the federally-mandated educational system implemented in public schools. “We hope this helps to improve (learning) even more.”

She added that the lower grades would first be exposed and then gradually board members would see improvement in the upper grades.

No official vote was required for this information.

— The tennis courts at Whitley County High School will soon see repair and improvements. During Tuesday’s meeting, Paul explained that last year part of the tennis courts were repaired, but more needed to be done. “This year (we wanted) to finish out (the project) and resurface the rest of the courts,” Paul said, but added the cost — more than $25,000 — would require the board to bid out the project. “We’d like to have it complete before schools starts back.”

Trickett added that Coal Severance monies were available. “It won’t have to come from the general fund,” she said.

Board member Malorie Cooper made the motion to allow Paul to advertise for bids, with a second to that motion from Board vice-chairman J.E. Jones. Present board members were unanimous with this decision.

— The Student Accident Insurance quote was unanimously accepted by board members Tuesday. The board went with a policy that concerned student athletes only, and cost “more than was budgeted.”

Board chairman Larry Lambdin made the motion to accept the quote from K & K Insurance, with a second to the motion given by Board member Brenda Hill.

— Insurance for the school’s fleet, property, liability and worker’s compensation was unanimously approved Tuesday. Chief Finance Officer Leigh Burke said there would be a savings of approximately $11,000 — the cost was “less than budgeted,” according to Burke.

Lambdin made the motion to approve Curneal and Hignite Insurance at a cost of $475,279.57. Jones made the second to the motion.

— The pay scale for the school system was unanimously approved by board members. Trickett said the pay scale does include a 1 percent raise across the board for employees. “I’m glad we were able to do that,” she said.

Cooper made the motion to approve the pay scale, with a second to the motion from Hill.

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