• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Priority list for school projects approved

The Woodford County Board of Education unanimously approved a priority list for school maintenance and facility projects, but only after being assured that the installation of a new outdoor canopy at the high school will not happen unless they approve a final cost for the project. "Your approval tonight would allow us to move forward with getting a final cost (on the WCHS canopy) because it's going to take an architect to come in and tell us what a final cost would be," schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins told board members on Monday. The initial estimate on the cost for installing a new canopy over the student pickup area at WCHS was $150,000. That estimate was based on the cost of installing a canopy at Woodford County Middle School in 2013. In addition to determining the actual cost for installing a new canopy at WCHS, board member Sherri Springate suggested that it might be prudent for the board to get student input on whether or not they would stand under a canopy in the pickup area while waiting for their rides on rainy days. Without an outdoor area for students to wait on rainy days, having so many students waiting in an indoor hallway creates a dangerous situation, board member Karen Brock said. Hawkins said he will get input from his student advisory group in September on whether or not they and their peers would use a canopy. The board did approve a capital funds request to spend $2,500 for an Adult Education sign; $10,000 to repair, seal and stripe the parking lot pavement at Central Office; $4,500 for fiber optic backup units at Huntertown Elementary; and $15,910 for additional security cameras at Safe Harbor Academy, WCHS and WCMS. The district currently has $456,043 for capital improvement projects. The priority list for this fiscal year includes projects with an estimated cost of $328,457. Future needs include improving the HVAC controls at Simmons Elementary (estimated cost of $84,000) and WCMS ($140,000), and constructing a concession stand with restrooms at WCMS ($150,000). In a related matter, Hawkins said available maintenance dollars should be sufficient to fix a skylight leak above a first-floor stairwell. "We've already had roofers looking at the area," he told board member Debby Edelen, "so I don't think it will be a major expense, and so that would be something we would cover from our maintenance (budget)." Hawkins said he would come to the board for approval if the cost of making that repair required spending capital outlay dollars, which pay for maintenance and facility projects on the approved priority list. Also, Chief Operating Officer Amy Smith said work began on Monday to add a third lane to the access driveway at Southside Elementary School. The lane is being added to alleviate traffic congestion for student pickups and drop-offs. "I wish there was something we could do to make 33 (Troy Pike) less congested, but that's a main thoroughfare to get from one side of town to the other, and it's going to be heavy traffic. It just will," said Hawkins.

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