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WCES to add new pick-up lane

Student drop off and pick up traffic at Whitley City Elementary School has been a traffic nightmare for a while, but those potentially dangerous conditions may soon improve as the McCreary County Board of Education approved a plan to lengthen the road alongside the school for parent pick-up, hopefully eliminating traffic congestion on US 27 near the school during their monthly meeting Thursday night.

Superintendent Mike Cash informed the Board that he had spoken with Hinkle Contracting about paving a path along the north side of the school and adding a loop near the gymnasium entrance to be used for parent pick up and drop off. Cash said not only would the additional length allow for safer conditions as it would help eliminate some back up on the highway, it would also be more convenient for the school to gather students in one location prior to dismissal in the afternoons.

The Board approved the project, which is expected to be completed some time next month, at an estimated cost of $23,465.

Discussion was also held on a proposed $8,000 change order in relation to the Softball Field House project.

Melinda Joseph-Dezarn with Ross Tarrant Architects told the Board that one contractor had to rent additional equipment due to finding rock while laying the foundation for the field house. The architect said the Board had no obligation to pay, but if they chose to, they would still come in under budget for the project by about $26,000.

Board Chair Brandon Kidd at first seemed to not want to pay the extra cost, noting if they didn’t have to, they could save more money.

But, after comments from Debbie Gibson, who noted the contractor did good work, and if they needed to use them again it would look favorably on the Board to accept the request.

The motion to pay the bill passed 5-0.

The Board also approved deducting about $14,000 in pay from the roofing project to cover damages done to the asphalt at the Middle School.

One bid for random drug testing was rejected by the Board after Superintendent Cash informed the Board that there was general dissatisfaction with the service provided by the company last year, and was granted permission to enter negotiations with other companies to provide the service.

The Board also heard updates from school principals and District staff about various projects underway in the District.

Near the end of the meeting, Board Member Roxanne Shook asked for further clarification concerning a request to approve emergency certification for an instructor at McCreary Central High School.

Shook was concerned over the fact that the form submitted to the Board was not completely filled out. The Board was informed that all relevant information was included on the form, and the blank spaces were to be filled out by the Board Secretary.

After the Board was informed that this was a procedure typically done, and that no one had applied for the position they were approving emergency certification for, the measure passed 3-2.

Shook voted against as well as Board member Nelda Gilreath who cited she believed it was a personnel issue, which the Board should not be involved in.

The Board is scheduled to meet again in a special session at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 9, to hold a public hearing on a possible 4 percent property tax increase. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be on Thursday, September 22 at 6:30 p.m.

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