Despite rumors to the contrary, all McCreary County schools opened as scheduled Wednesday morning.
Cash addressed those rumors during a District-wide training day Monday when he announced that no delay was necessary on opening day.
“Despite what you have seen on social media, we will be open Wednesday,” he told the assembled District employees to a round of applause.
The Superintendent recognized the dedicated staff who had put in long hours over the last weekend to clean the schools and make sure they were ready for opening day.
“When we began the construction projects, we identified two conditions that had to be met before the okay was given to return to school: first, the schools had to be safe and second, they had to be clean,” he said.
Those conditions were met, and the go-ahead was given to stick to the original schedule.
“It was important we opened when we said we were going to,” Cash said. “We want to focus on the kids and give them the best environment we could to foster learning.”
Any delay in opening due to construction could have been a benefit for the District, as the contractors would have had to pay a $100,000 penalty for each day school was delayed, but Cash said the majority of the work was completed before the deadline.
The majority of the approximately $10 million project was completed in 10 weeks, but there still remains some minor work to be finished, but that will be done outside of school hours.
In a letter to staff Wednesday, Cash stated there may be some minor issues as the new heating and cooling systems installed will need fine-tuning over the next few days, and asked for patience as those adjustments are made.
The energy savings contract endorsed by the Board of Education earlier this year called for new or improved HVAC systems to be installed in schools, along with energy-efficient LED lighting and other upgrades throughout the District.
In addition, a new roof and bus lane were installed at McCreary County Middle School.
“Although many of the energy efficient upgrades will be invisible to students and parents when you are in the buildings, you will quickly notice a difference in the overall improvement in the internal environments in all of our schools,” Cash’s email stated.
When speaking to the staff Monday, Cash outlined two new potential construction projects that are being considered: a new bus garage and an upgrade to the track to allow for the District to host track and field teams in the coming years.
Wednesday Cash said there were minor issues at a few schools regarding the new system, but the contractor was able to respond quickly and addressed the problems in a timely manner.