Whitesburg KY

Construction plans for Letcher schools hold $27 million tag

Public comments on proposal sought

A public hearing is scheduled for this week to discuss a list of more than $27 million worth of renovation and construction projects for school facilities in the Letcher County Public School District.

Terry Sturgill, district director of special projects, said the board may choose projects at any time and doesn’t have to follow the alphabetical order in which the projects are listed in the district improvement plan. Sturgill said funding for these projects does not exist at this time.

This will be the first district facilities plan since the construction of Letcher County Central High School and the Letcher County Area Technology Center.

The consolidated high school was at the top of the list in the facilities plan that was approved by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) in 2004. Districts are required to submit a new facilities plan every four years, but Sturgill said the district was granted an extension in 2008 because the technology center, which is set for completion in November, was the next priority.

“We thought that since we were already building the vocational school we needed to get a new list of priorities,” said Sturgill.

A group of 22 teachers, parents, principals, administrators and community members have spent the last six months putting together a list of renovations and new construction projects.

The school administration members on the committee are Letcher County Schools Supt. Anna Craft, Board Member John Spicer, District Director of Federal Projects Roger Martin, Assistant Supt. Twyla Messer, Board Secretary Glenda Coleman and Director of Special Projects Terry Sturgill. Community members are Valerie Saurer of Partridge, Joan Ward of Whitesburg, Barbara Ison of Whitesburg, and Daryl Boggs of Whitesburg. Principals on the committee are Stephen Boggs of Letcher County Central High School, David Robinson of Cowan Elementary School, Wendy Mullins of Letcher Elementary School, and Rick Warf of Beckham Bates Elementary School. Teachers include Juanita Spangler of Whitesburg Middle School, Dan Brennan of Martha Jane Potter Elementary School, Annette Sergent of West Whitesburg Elementary School and Harry Collins of Arlie Boggs Elementary School. Parents are Dr. Van Breeding of Whitesburg, Linda Standifer of Whitesburg, Cecilia Pack of Ermine and April Bentley of Neon.

All of the listed buildings call for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) upgrades and “life safety” repairs, which pertains to conditions in which children are safe. Sturgill said good doors, windows, floors and playground equipment fall under life safety category.

The district facilities plan calls for Arlie Boggs Elementary School to need about $1.4 million worth of major renovations and nearly $300,000 in additions consisting of a music/art room and a 300-squarefoot administrative area. Repairs to the 1961 and 1967 building areas include sidewalks, handicapped parking, driveway, separation of bus and car traffic, drainage and service vehicle access, roof, windows, foundation, gutters, exterior walls and doors, interior floors, lighting, walls, ceilings, doors, casework and fixed equipment, electrical and plumbing. Renovations of the 1990 area include HVAC and roofing.

Renovations including kitchen plumbing and changing a media center into classrooms in the1963 and 1980 areas of Cowan Elementary School total about $2,871,298. And $2,333,411 would be needed to build a media center, a music room, four resource rooms, an administrative area, a special education room, a computer lab and a kitchen addition.

Renovations for the 1951 and 1974 areas of Fleming- Neon Elementary School are estimated to cost $705,275. It would cost $656,060 to build a special education room, a computer lab and an art/music classroom.

The Fleming-Neon gymnasium needs $1 million worth of repairs including drainage, roof, windows, gutters, foundation, exterior walls and doors, interior floors, walls, ceiling, doors, lighting, fixed equipment, restrooms, electrical, plumbing and technology upgrades.

The facilities plan says Letcher Elementary School needs about $2.4 million in major renovations to the 1959, 1965, 1978 and 1989 areas. The plan cites the need for a secure entrance, middle school roof, canopy, restrooms, parking, sidewalks, drainage, service vehicle access, windows, foundation, exterior doors, walls, interior including gymnasium, ceiling, floors, doors, walls, lighting, fixed equipment, and casework.

Martha Jane Potter Elementary School is in need of about $ 2.2 million in renovations to the 1964 and 1985 area including separation of bus/car traffic, parking and driveway, exterior walls, interior walls, ceilings, doors, floors, lighting, physical education equipment fixed, kitchen casework, restrooms, electrical and plumbing, and change media center to resource rooms. Renovations to the 1994 area include HVAC and roofing.

At least $1.4 million will be needed to build a media center, an administrative area, a special education area, a computer lab and a kitchen addition at MJP.

Renovations for the 1973 areas of West Whitesburg Elementary School are estimated to cost $5.5 million and include sidewalks, handicapped parking, driveway, separation of bus/car traffic and service vehicle area, windows, foundation, exterior walls and doors, interior doors, floors, ceilings, walls, lighting and casework, restrooms, fixed equipment in kitchen and mechanical room, electrical and plumbing. The 1991 area needs HVAC and roofing.

New construction projects at WWES totaling $1.3 million include an administrative area, a family resource area, a cafeteria and a music room.

Renovations at Whitesburg Middle School include sidewalks, handicapped parking, separation of bus/ car traffic, and service vehicle access. Estimated cost is $511,117.

New construction projects at WMS total $1.3 million and include a band room, a kitchen and a cafeteria.

Site work at Letcher County Central High School is still needed to separate bus and car traffic. Plans include finishing the remainder of items on the original footprint of the site.

District-wide initiatives consist of providing fixed active boards and projectors in all classrooms with wireless capability for handheld student assessments and remote operation. The cost to build 105 interactive smart boards is estimated at $682,500.

The Letcher County Alternative School, located in the existing vo-tech building, needs about $2.3 million worth of renovations to include sidewalks, parking, windows, roof, gutters, exterior walls, interior doors, floors, ceilings, lighting and casework, electrical, plumbing, restrooms, space for kitchen and cafeteria.

About $50,000 worth of renovations is listed for central office including sidewalks, parking, windows, roof, gutters, exterior walls, interior doors, floors, ceilings, lighting and casework, electrical and plumbing.

New construction projects for central office totali n g $ 534,405 include 10 offices, a conference room and a records room.

The bus garage and maintenance building is listed as needing about $84,926 in renovations.

Public hearings were held Jan. 27, April 5 and May 19 and no one from the public made any comments. A fourth public hearing is set for 7:30 p.m. on June 2 in the Letcher County School Bus Garage.

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