Board approves roof repair at WCHS
The Woodford County Board of Education on Monday night approved the declaration of an emergency in order to move swiftly on replacing a portion of the roof above the computer lab at Woodford County High School. The roof was damaged during heavy rains on Oct. 8 and 9. Schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins told board members that by declaring an emergency, the project can proceed more quickly through the state approval process. He said replacing the roof will cost somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000. A project application being sent to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) states the probable construction cost of the project at $40,000. The total probable cost climbs to over $47,000, with architect and engineer services costing $5,360 and a contingency of $2,000 set aside. The board gave approval to spend up to $47,645 out of its maintenance budget to cover the total cost of the project. Some computers in the WCHS lab were also destroyed by the heavy rainfall, according to Hawkins. "So we're going to be working with the insurance (company)," he said. However, because some of the computers are several years old, it may not warrant a claim "because of our deductible size," Hawkins said. Community Stadium Board members agreed to have a discussion during their next planning meeting on inter-local cooperation agreements, which may offer an avenue for the school district to become a partial owner of Community Stadium. If the district had an ownership stake in the property, the board could spend money on making repairs to the facility, Board Member Margie Cleveland told The Sun. She said the school board, which currently leases the stadium, has not had any discussions with county government officials about how an inter-local cooperation agreement could allow this partial ownership to happen. "And it may not be realistic," said Cleveland, who wanted to have a discussion on inter-local cooperation agreements after getting information about this possible option from KDE. The board will have its discussion on inter-local cooperation agreements and Community Stadium after conducting three public forums to gather input before making a decision on whether or not to build a new high school. The board has tabled any decision on building a new high school until after a pending special session of the Kentucky General Assembly, which will focus on state funding issues. Residents of the community have raised concerns about building new athletic fields as a part of the high school project and not continuing to use existing county-owned facilities, including Community Stadium, for high school football, soccer and other athletic programs. Pension forum While Hawkins said he appreciated Gov. Matt Bevin and legislative leaders for their work last week to address pension funding issues in Kentucky, he said their pension reform proposal "would certainly impact current employees as well as retirees." In addition to the negative effects on individuals, the proposal "would also be detrimental to public education and our ability to attract and retain quality teachers and support staff to work with our children," Hawkins said. "This gives me great concern (because) as we all know that public education is foundational to our commonwealth." In response to his concerns, Hawkins said he'd have an informational session for school employees and community members "to better explain how this can impact our folks in public education," last Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. in the WCHS library. Flagship district With results from the latest state assessment released, Hawkins announced that he will change how he concludes his monthly superintendent's remarks. "For the last 10 years," he said, "I have ended my remarks with 'It's an honor to serve as your superintendent and with all of us working together we can become a Top-5 school district.' "We are now a Top-5 School district," which drew applause from those attending Monday's board meeting, "and that is certainly a tribute to our outstanding teachers, staff (and) administrators. But it's also a tribute to our kids because we have some of the best kids you'll find anywhere - right here in Woodford County." Hawkins said he will now end his monthly remarks with "It's an honor to serve as your superintendent and I know with all of us working together we can become the flagship district for Kentucky." Bus garage project The board approved a change order, which increases the cost on the vehicle lift project at the bus garage by $48,800. The added cost covers plumbing work related to the installation of a floor drain and piping, which will be completed by the project's contractor, Eubank & Steele Construction.