Board votes on make-up schedule

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New high school site has approximate finish date

By Brandon Mattingly

The Washington County School Board has finalized changes to the remaining schedule for the 2013-14 school year, barring any more missed days due to weather.

It was voted on at last week’s monthly meeting to change March 28 from a teacher work day to an instructional day, and to do the same with May 26, the day schools were originally scheduled to be closed for the Memorial Day holiday.

The final day of the school year for students, as of now, would be Friday, May 30.

Leonard Bowers of Ross Tarrant Architects returned to speak to the board members this month, updating school officials on progress and improvements at the construction site of the new high school.

Bowers was one of two architects on hand at last month’s meeting, when they expressed concerns about cleanliness and efficiency at the site. One of the primary areas of concern was with the painting that had been done, and the board received an assurance from Alliance Corporation Founder and CEO Tommy Gumm that the painting would be checked out and redone to the board’s pleasing.

As was reported in a previous issue of The Sun, the board decided to to make no major changes to the bridge near the front entrance, save for consideration to raise the height of the railing. Bowers confirmed that the sides can look into getting a quote for raising the railing four to six inches and the issue will be addressed again at a future meeting.

The projected finish date of the new high school is May 13, which it was pointed out gives Alliance roughly 60 days beyond the original projected date to resolve the issues discussed in recent meetings.

Chris Zerhusen of Zerhusen Holten Commissioning, LLC was also in attendance to discuss the school’s progress, and he said things are moving right along on his end.

He used a PowerPoint presentation to outline the progress of the recent flushing of the geothermal system, which Zerhusen described at a previous meeting as a major milestone in the construction process.

He also suggested that now would be a good time to do a video walk-through of the building to have a record of where ceiling ducts, ventilation systems, etc. are located.

Superintendent Robin Cochran informed the board of a meeting that she, Washington County Principal Paul Terrell and Instructional Supervisor Cherry Broyles attended recently at St. Catharine College.

Changes to the Commander College and implementing the new high school into their relationship with SCC were among the focal points of the discussion.

It was determined that there is a need for academic and behavior counseling for students in Advanced Placement courses, and that courses should be made available to students who show “grit” and really want to work in their college classes. In 2012-13, 11 students graduated from Commander College, which allows WCHS students to challenge themselves by taking on college courses as well.

Cochran also said the idea was thrown around during talks with SCC for the high school to get access to a teacher from the college to conduct a physics course. In return, the suggestion was made that SCC be able to use some of the facilities at the new high school, particularly in the evenings. More in-depth discussion on the possibility will be held at a later meeting.

Cost comparison
Treasurer Judy Spalding provided school officials with a financial breakdown last week, including the changes in cost to some of the district’s necessities over the past three years:

Fiscal year:        ‘12           ‘13            ‘14
Cert. sub        $59,319    $70,915     $22,453
teacher costs
Bldg. repair    $81,519    $66,631     $85,319
and maint.
Electric cost    $189,778  $171,469   $201,011
Diesel costs    $91,175    $106,925   $82,109

Other notes

• A change order in the amount of $78,875.81 for structural modifications, roof issues, etc. at the new high school site was approved without opposition.

• The board approved a contract that will allow students from Elizabethtown Community and Technical College to volunteer at North Washington Elementary School in the Family Resource Service Youth Center to fulfill degree requirements.

• Patsy Lester, board chair, recognized Director of Transportation James “Pogo” Mann’s retirement after 27 years on the job. Robert Holderman was transferred from mechanic to temporary director of transportation to accommodate Mann’s retirement.

• Board Member Nora Hatton was recognized for being named to the Kentucky School Board Association Board.

• The Washington County High School volleyball team was approved for a trip to Naperville, Ill. from Oct. 5-10 to take part in a tournament and tour other facilities.

Not in attendance was Pat Clements. The next Washington County School Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 17 at the preschool and ag facility at WCHS.