An estimated $4 million project is under way at Boyle County Middle School, slated for completion by Aug. 15, and is being done in “phases” according to Chris Holderman, director of operations for the Boyle school system.
“When we looked into the bidding process, we wanted to make sure we could have a pretty major renovation done but do it so we could keep student disruptions to a minimum,” Holderman said.
“When the students come back in August, they’ll definitely see some changes,” he said.
The project, which will be similar to the one finished at the high school about three years ago, Holderman said, includes new energy-efficient lighting, ceiling tiles and exterior doors, among other things. One of the biggest expenses will be the new heating and air system, which will be a geo-thermal hybrid system, Holderman explained.
“We’ve got a more efficient heating and air system,” he said. “It’s geothermal but it also uses a cooling tower.”
The unit is being customized for the school by Clotfelter-Samokar, an architecture firm from Lexington, Holderman said. It is estimated to save the district money, as the version put in at the high school saved about $25,000 a year. Crews will have to construct a building about the size of a classroom to be added onto the existing structure, to house the equipment.
“The unit will serve the kids and staff here for the next 20 years. It’s designed to do that,” Holderman said. “When you make those decisions, you have to make a 20-year decision.”
Kentucky Department of Education has regulations regarding bonds, which were sold to cover the cost of the renovations. These monitor what the monies can be used for, Holderman explained.
“This money is not money that we have in our general fund. This money is bonded money,” he said. “It’s money that you just try to get. It’s for facilities.”
Unfortunately, he said, it can’t be used for teachers.
The renovations were determined and encouraged by the Local Planning Committee, a group of parents and others from schools in the district. The committee is formed every four years and ranks the issues in the buildings for those in greatest need. Following the middle school, Woodlawn Elementary is slated for renovations next, Holderman said.
The renovations for the middle school will cause a delay for the start of the 2013-2014 school year, Holderman said, explaining officials want to make sure things are completed before the students return.
“We don’t want work going on, or as minimally as possible, while the kids are here,” he said.
The school calendar will be discussed at the Boyle County Board of Education meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the high school library.