• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

School board to consider leasing space for adult education

The Woodford County Board of Education was informed of the need for additional space for its adult education program during its regular meeting Monday.

An office space on the second floor of the Thoroughbred Square building in downtown Versailles has sufficient open area (about 2,000 square feet) to accommodate two classes, Chief Academic Officer Jimmy Brehm told board members. He previously informed them about growth in the adult education program, which currently serves 50 students a week. Adult education is housed at Safe Harbor Academy in the evenings, with limited available space for daytime classes.

In addition to housing adult education, Brehm said the space at Thoroughbred Square would be sufficient for the district’s migrant program, which provides support for the children of seasonal agricultural farmer workers. A downtown location would also be convenient for families needing to access other services at the public library and health department, he said.

Brehm said the cost of leasing at Thoroughbred Square was also “very positive to us compared to other spaces.”

An action item asking for school board approval on a lease agreement was planned for November.

The annual cost under a three-year lease agreement would be in the range of $23,000 to $24,000, Hawkins told board members. He said the district has already begun exploring funding options such as using federal and other dollars to cover some of the cost “so I don’t think it will be a significant amount to the general fund.”

Hawkins said board members will receive a cost analysis before being asked to approve a lease agreement. Board member Debby Edelen suggested the school district reach out to potential community partners to help cover the cost of the leased space.

“This again highlights the need for a new high school so that we can utilize the old (high school) space to be able to provide these things,” said board member Sherri Springate.

A proposed 5.5 cent facilities tax to pay for a new high school was defeated during a June 26 special election.

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