Parents who fight the morning traffic on U.S. 150 to enter Boyle County Middle School and Woodlawn Elementary schools hopefully will find a reprieve in the next year.
Chris Holderman, director of operations for Boyle County Schools, revealed discussions have been ongoing with individuals in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and officials at the city and county level for several years, including the past two in which he has been in the position.
Holderman explained officials are fully aware of the dangers of the road traffic on U.S. 150, calling it one of the biggest traffic problems in the state.
“Everybody knows it’s a safety issue,” Holderman said.
Parents in attendance at Thursday night’s board of education meeting expressed their ongoing concerns, with one mother saying she had been in two “near-misses” in the past week. Others expressed fear it was simply a “matter of time” before someone became seriously injured.
After the meeting, Holderman said he had been working diligently with many others to find the solution. With the potential dangers involved in the current setup, he said “I couldn’t sleep if I hadn’t been working on this.”
Holderman added a doable road plan was created by individuals at the transportation cabinet; however, it was going to require the collaboration of the community in order to make it happen.
Under the prospective plan, the entrance roads to Woodlawn and the middle school actually would begin at the fairgrounds, starting at its road and branching off onto the system’s property and running behind the bus garage. The road then would split, leading the parents either left to the middle school or right to turn left onto the “Woodlawn snake,” which already is in place.
“Number one priority is safety, number two is community,” Holderman said. “This will get cars off the roads and on our campus.”
Holderman said the next few months are crucial to getting the project going and the school board will have to remain diligent about collaborating with others, but also at not letting it get pushed to the side.
In other news:
n In a 3-1 vote, Julie Jones was named vice-chairwoman for the board, in light of the departure of Alane Mills during the February board meeting. Jones was the third to vote, signifying yes. Superintendent Mike LaFavers said he would have to verify the legality.
The position held by Mills still is vacant and will be filled by a decision from Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday. LaFavers explained after the meeting that applications still are being accepted for the position and he is anticipating to hear something regarding the opening by May.
Ruth Anne Elliott cast the dissenting vote.
n A change is being made to the calendar for the 2013-2014 school year, which will drop one instructional day. May 20 was scheduled as a day for students to be in school; however, it is Election Day and schools are being told to dismiss for the day.
According to LaFavers, this would drop the system from 173 to 172 instructional days, which is still more than most of the surrounding districts. The day will become a staff development day instead.
n Work is ongoing at the middle school, which is “on target,” according to Chris Holderman. He explained geothermal wells were being drilled, which were resulting in “ponding” on campus. That situation is temporary and will be resolved as soon as the wells are completed.
When the current school year is complete, Marilla Design and Construction, which is doing the work on the property, will be able to enter the school and complete the interior changes. It had been doing strictly outdoor work in attempts to minimalize the distraction for students.
Due to the ongoing work, the 2013-2014 school year is slated to start later than usual, with classes beginning Aug. 14, in order for construction to be complete.
n Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville, presented the district with a commendation from the Kentucky State Senate, recognizing its place as a district of distinction. To reach that level, the district had to place in the 95th percentile on testing scores, met its annual measurable objectives, have a 95 percent participation rate and not have schools that were speciality or priority schools, such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics¿schools.