By Fred Petke / Staff Writer

The reconstruction of Boone Elementary received the board of education’s blessing Thursday as the beginning date inches closer.

Architects said they won’t be ready to advertise for bids for the $10.3 million project until this fall.

The board included only one condition on its approval: that the architects verify the addition is above the floodplain and that the numbers used are the correct ones. Board Member Randell Young questioned whether the architects numbers matched the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ or the U.S. Geological Survey’s.

Architect Scott Jackson said the school is designed to be eight feet above the 100 year flood stage, but will re-verify the numbers. If the calculations are off, it could necessitate changes to the plans for the school to bring it above the flood stage.

When the project is completed, only the existing gymnasium will remain intact. Jackson said the project is designed so classes can continue uninterrupted as construction begins. The first phase will build a two level classroom wing with Kindergarten through third grade on the upper floor; fourth and fifth grade will be on the bottom floor.

Once the classrooms are completed, the rest of the existing building will be demolished so a new cafeteria, media center and offices can be built, he said.

The funds for the project are already in place.

The board also approved a long list of change orders for the new Knox Central High School.

In total, the changes will cost the district approximately $86,000 and there will likely be more coming in July, Superintendent Michael Jones said. Part of those changes included adding to the baseball field so it met the regulation dimensions. Due to changes in the slopes and possibly errors in the drawings, the field was too short, Jones said.

Finally, Kentucky School Board Association recognized Jones for his 27 years of service to the Knox County district. Jones will retire June 30 after serving as superintendent for the last four years.

“Undoubtedly, there are students he helped at Hampton (Elementary) and he helped their children to succeed and their grandchildren to succeed,” Kentucky School Board Association Member Support Director Brad Hughes said.

Walter “T” Hulett will become Knox County’s superintendent on July 1.

Fred Petke can be reached at fpetke@thetimes-tribune.com.

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