By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
The new Pleasant View Elementary School has gotten a jump start on construction, thanks to both the warmer temperatures and the receipt of a required permit from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
During a special-called meeting of the Whitley County Board of Education Thursday, board members learned how far the construction has progressed from Larry Siler, the site superintendent, and Sandra Honaker, the project manager.
“(We’ve) worked on this project with earnest,” Honaker said. It was explained that trees and brush were being cleared for the new entrance off Cumberland Falls Highway, the septic system’s leach field installation has begun and that the bulk of the “silt fencing” has been put in place to prevent topsoil erosion.
The new entryway to the school should be ready within three to four weeks, according to Siler.
Board chairman Larry Lambdin said this was an “exciting” time for the school, and that the community is equally excited to get the doors open.
In that regard, board members then unanimously approved paying an invoice to Branscum Construction for $21,102.35. Board member Malorie Cooper motioned to approve, with a second from Board member Brenda Hill.
In other board business:
— The school calendar was amended to accommodate for the winter weather that kept schools closed.
The amended calendar lists the last day for students as May 30.
Whitley County schools missed 15 days of school during the winter months — one in December, eight in January, four in February and two in March.
The amended calendar was listed as part of the consent agenda. Also approved in this agenda was the first reading of a certified evaluation plan for the Teacher Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (TPGES) and the Principal Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PPGES). The second reading will occur in May.
Also approved with the consent agenda was the Whitley County High School’s basketball trip. Head coach David Estes explained to board members the team would travel to Orlando, Fla. Dec. 26-31 to compete, by invitation, in a tournament at Windermere Preparatory School.
Hill motioned to approve the consent agenda, with a second from Cooper. Board members were unanimous with this decision.
— Board members were also unanimous in allowing Superintendent Scott Paul to get the ball rolling with the school nutrition bids. Lambdin motioned to approve Paul advertising for bids for the Nutrition Program for 2014-2015, with a second from Cooper.
— In line with student nutrition, board members also unanimously approved the 2014 Summer Feeding Program. This program allows for students to eat during the summer at various community sites and schools. It was learned the program will be hosted in the same places as last summer, according to Paul. Hill motioned to approve, with a second from Cooper.
— The school system will continue its membership with the Kentucky Educational Development Corporation (KEDC). That membership was unanimously approved Thursday and costs $5,000 to join for one school year. Paul said that Whitley County Schools has been a member for several years. Board vice-chairman J.E. Jones motioned to approve the membership, with a second from Hill.
— A 10 percent discount on worker’s compensation insurance will be part of a membership with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce — and that membership was unanimously approved by board members. Deputy Superintendent Paula Trickett and Finance Officer Leigh Burke explained they learned of this discount through a neighboring school system. Paul said this would be the first time the school system joined with the state’s chamber. The cost of membership is $1,500.
Burke said the discount would likely save more than $17,000 per year.
Hill motioned to approve the membership, with a second from Cooper.