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Public Forum for School Planning Dec. 12 at BCHS Library

By Mike James
The Daily Independent
December 5, 2016


Summit:  A newly convened local planning committee is starting to stack up building and renovation priorities in the Boyd County Public School District and will solicit public suggestions at a forum December 12.

The committee will take suggestions into account when it decides which of its buildings to renovated first and whether to build new schools.

The committee also will consult architects, financial consultants and the district's own staffers to set building priorities.

The committee is comprised of administrators, teachers, parents and a board member.

School districts are required to formulate facilities plans every four years.

Projects that topped previous plans - the new high school and the middle school renovation - have been completed or are underway, so the committee this time around will turn its attention to ones lower on that list.

Replacement of the current vocational building, which is across the street front the old high school, has migrated to the top of the list along with renovation of some of the district's older elementary schools, finance director Don Fleu said.

Feasibility of building a new vocational school would depend in part on availability of state money, he said. The district's master plan for the hilltop site where the new high school was built includes a site for a vocational school.

Cannonsburg and Catlettsburg elementaries are aging and even Ponderosa, the second-newest, is 25 years old.

Summit, the newest, is 15 years old.

Permanent preschool quarters also may be under consideration because one of the district's two preschools is in a leased building, and the building has been for sale, so its long-term availability isn't guaranteed, Fleu said.

The committee also will hear from the architects who will assess existing buildings and make renovation suggestions. Financial experts will provide information on bonding potential, which means how much the district will be able to borrow.

There will be at least two more public forums and maybe more before the committee puts together its final priority list, which it hopes to do by the end of March. After that, it is submitted to the Kentucky Department of Education for approval, which the district hopes would come by the end of the fiscal year June 30.

The facility plan is not a set-in-the-stone building plan, and the school board has some discretion in choosing which projects to do. Construction also depends on the district's capacity to borrow money, which after building a new high school and completely renovating the middle school, isn't great, Fleu said.

The public forum will be at 5:30 p.m., December 12 in the high school media center.

(606) 326-2652

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