, Corbin, KY

April 30, 2013

No one attends public Facilities Plan hearing

By John L. Ross, Corbin, KY

WILLIAMSBURG — Nobody chose to attend a public hearing late Monday afternoon at Williamsburg Independent Schools.

The hearing was for Williamsburg Independent Board of Education members to hear comments or concerns about the recently-released District Facilities Plan for the school.

Superintendent Denny Byrd confirmed no one attended the hearing. In March, no one showed for the first public hearing on that facilities plan.

A special-called meeting was scheduled after the public hearing at 6 p.m. Monday so members could discuss the plan and vote on it.

Board member Kim Williams was out of town for the very brief meeting; however, the remaining board members were on hand to make the vote.

Board member Roger Faulkner motioned to approve the plan, with a second from board member Kim White. A show-of-hands vote showed the voting board members were unanimous in this decision.

The plan was approved by all board members during the BOE’s March meeting.

Byrd explained then that every four years, school systems must update their facilities plans.

“This was the year for Williamsburg Independent,” Byrd said.

According to the Kentucky Department of Education, school systems must select a local planning committee and an architectural/engineering consultant.

The BOE chose RossTarrant Architects of Lexington.

That company reviews the facility and analyzes the building needs, including providing plan drawings, cost estimates and deficiencies.

Then the local planning committee meets, reviews the current plan in place, and holds a series of meetings and forums to develop the new plan.

A minimum of three local planning committee meetings and public forums are required. An orientation session with the KDE counts as one meeting. Monday’s public hearing was the third meeting.

The KDE approved the school’s draft, according to Byrd, who showed the one-page plan synopsis lists capital construction priorities for the school system.

According to the plan, more than $5.7 million in construction priorities exist for WIS.

This includes several projects such as security upgrades, parking lot and site improvements, playground relocation for student safety, roof replacement, new exterior doors and hardware, new acoustical ceiling tile and grid, new auditorium carpet, new cafeteria flooring, restroom renovations and Americans with Disability Act upgrades, bleacher replacement and upgraded gym equipment, plumbing system and fixture upgrades, an expansion of the fire protection system, an upgrade to the HVAC system and controls, an upgrade to the power distribution, electric, lighting and technology, a closed caption television security camera system, as well as ADA upgrades to the fire alarm system.

Construction projects include an addition to the cafeteria and to the kitchen.

Other construction projects include the addition of a sprinkler system and fire service, as well as a CCTV security system and a fire alarm system.

The plan states the “district need” totals more than $6.86 million.

There are some discretionary projects listed as well, including an auxiliary gym and the replacement of the home side bleachers at the stadium and provide new bleachers for the visitors’ side.