TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

May 24, 2013

Corbin BOE approves district facility plan


The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer

A new middle school, two new elementary schools and major renovations to four other Corbin Independent Schools properties are in the plans for the future.

That’s after the Corbin Board of Education approved the 2013-2017 District Facility Plan during a special meeting Thursday.

The approval came minutes after the board held a public hearing on the district facility plan at their Central Office on Roy Kidd Avenue.

Officials estimated the “district’s need” — the total cost for new buildings and renovations during the four-year period — would be $71,287,074.

The plan now goes to the state Board of Education for their approval.

Board Chair Kim Croley reminded those present that the plan is a guide to go by for the district in the next four years.

“This is a long-range plan. It’s not going to happen tomorrow. It’s required by the state Board of Education to periodically review your facilities. And if any new facilities, or renovations or upgrades are needed, we go by the state Board of Education’s standards,” she said during the public hearing.

“The importance of this is, one, identify your needs, and two, what those needs are,” added Superintendent Ed McNeel. “And those needs are, one, to build a new middle school, and two, build new elementary schools. … It’s a plan for the future. The state will not allow you to do any renovations or buildings unless it’s on this plan.”

The construction of a new middle school is first on the list.

For grades 7-8, the new middle school would have a capacity for 600 students on a new site to be determined, and would be 84,958 square feet. The estimated cost to build the school comes up to $18,665,273, and is first on the capital construction priorities list scheduled within the 2013-15 biennium.

The two new elementary schools are next on the list, and are scheduled after the 2015 biennium.

One of the them would be for grades 3-4, while the other is for grades 5-6. Both new elementary schools would hold 550 students each, with their sites to be determined later. Both would be 63,236 square feet, and both have a price tag of $13,564,122 each, making the total price for the two elementary schools at $27,128,244.

One possible site for an elementary school, or the middle school, is the extra land on the site of the current Corbin Primary School off 5th Street Road.

That possibility came up earlier this month when architect Kevin Cheek of the firm Sherman-Carter-Barnhart showed a site plan during a special board meeting on May 7. The plan had an area for a two-story building to put a middle school on, to be located below Corbin Primary, as well as room for parking, and football, baseball and softball fields.

Cheek was the architect of the district’s new and renovated Corbin High School building that was dedicated on May 7, before the board met.

New construction would also involve the current Corbin Primary School.

The facility plan shows constructing six standard classrooms to Corbin Primary. The six classrooms would have 800 square feet each, making for a total of 4,800 square feet, and would be added on to make for a total of 74,180 square feet at Corbin Primary. Total cost for the new classrooms is estimated at $1,391,351.

Major renovations are listed for a total of four Corbin Independent School properties.

The biggest involves the current Corbin Middle School on Kentucky Avenue.

The first floor would become the Corbin Educational Center (CEC), and would be used for the center’s alternative programs. The renovations involve 18,666 square feet with a cost estimate of $2,955,854.

The second floor would become the district’s Central Office. A total of 16,000 square feet would be renovated with a price tag of $2,581,200. The third floor would house students in additional alternative programs, such as Even Start and KAPPA, and also involves 16,000 square feet. Third floor renovations are pegged at a total cost of $2,365,200.

Total building footage for the three floors to be renovated at the current Corbin Middle location comes up to 56,000 square feet. The total estimated cost for the three floors add up to $7,902,254.

The historic Edwards Gym located next door to Corbin Middle School would also get major renovations. They would be done to accommodate students in the alternative program, and would include security entrances, a fire and sprinkler system, interior and exterior lighting, gym floor, refurbished building exterior, and HVAC, electrical and plumbing upgrades. Renovations for the 21,280 square foot gymnasium is estimated at $2,466,352.

A total of $3,826,075 is set for major renovations of the 24,000 square foot Corbin Tech Area Technology Center. It includes renovations to program areas including Health Services, Project Lead the Way, Automotive Tech, Welding, Industrial Technology, Electrical Tech and the Administrative Suite. In addition, renovations for site development, parking, roof replacements, HVAC replacement and an electrical-lighting-service upgrade are in the master plan.

McNeel said the facility plan was drawn up by a local planning committee of 20 people.  He added the committee especially went over the planned renovations to the Corbin Technology Center, and had no problems with the building of new school facilities. After Thursday’s public hearing, the plan would go next to the school board for approval before it goes to the state.

“The planning committee has done a super job of making renovations,” noted McNeel.

The district facility plan was unanimously approved by a 3-0 vote with Croley and Board Members Lisa Cleary and Stephen Mulberry all in favor. Board members Todd Childers and Angela Morris were unable to attend.

The special meeting was held after the public hearing was held to hear comments from those at the session, or to read written comments from those who had questions or concerns.

After Croley, who was the hearing officer, and McNeel spoke to explain the facilities plan, an invitation was given for comments from those at the meeting.

Nine people were there, and there were no written or oral comments. The public hearing was then adjourned, and the special board meeting was called. Croley noted the board meeting was called in the event any public comments from the hearing had to be reviewed and discussed before voting on approval of the district facility plan. There were none, and the motion to approve the plan was passed.