Whitesburg KY
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Field, courts to cost $1.5 million

The Letcher County Board of Education has voted to submit plans to the Kentucky Department of Education in Frankfort for the construction of a softball field, two tennis courts and a golf putting green to be built at the Letcher County Central High School campus.

The softball field, which will be located adjacent to the Letcher County Area Technology Center, will have a concession stand and bathrooms identical to the baseball field. The tennis courts and putting green will be off to the side of the softball field. The project is estimated to cost about $1.5 million.

Terry Sturgill, director of special projects, told the board at Monday night’s meeting that the Letcher County Area Technology Center is 99.9 percent finished and students have been attending classes in the new 50,000-square- foot facility since March 23. He said the cover for the pedestrian walkway, which connects the center to LCCHS, won’t be finished until late May. The technology center project is estimated to have cost about $8.9 million.

Board Chairman Will Smith said he has been asked by several people if a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the new facility. Supt. Anna Craft said she is waiting to plan a time when legislators and others who have been instrumental in the project can attend the celebration.

“There are a lot of people who want to see it,” said Smith.

Craft said a drafting class designed the layout of the lobby of the technology center.

“I think that is special to have our students design it,” she said.

In other business, the board was told the last day of school for students attending Letcher County schools could be May 4 if no more days are missed.

Kenneth Cornett, the district’s director of pupil personnel, said the district has used eight of 10 allotted “banked” days, which are days accumulated by having extra time added to the regular school day.

Cornett cautioned that bad weather could still cause school cancelations.

“We have had a big snow in April before,” said Cornett, who also reminded the board that flooding could also occur.

If the school year ends May 4, graduation for Letcher County Central High School would be May 11.

The board also approved a school calendar for the 2012–2013 school year. The first day of school for students will be Aug. 6 and the last day is May 9, 2013. Spring break is set for the week of April 1, but if days were needed to make up days missed, students would attend that week.

Glenda Coleman, district personnel secretary, addressed the board concerning the calendar for classified employees. Coleman was concerned that central office was open on July 4 last year. Coleman, who works 260 days a year, said that was the first Independence Day she can ever remember working. Coleman said 260-day employees had the option to take a vacation day and 240-day employees could take a non-contract day. Coleman said Independence Day is a holiday and employees shouldn’t have had to take a vacation day.

“It wasn’t a day the calendar committee had put on the calendar,” said Coleman. “That was such an injustice to 260-day employees and 240-day employees.”

Coleman said July 4 falls outside the normal school year and in the past it was just understood that offices were closed that day.

Since last summer Coleman has contacted all 174 school districts in Kentucky to see what their policies are concerning 12-month employees. Coleman said the Letcher County school district is among 10 districts out of 90 districts that provide four paid holidays to employees who work 240 and 260 days a year.

“There are districts out there that are giving things to their employees as incentives that we are not doing,” said Coleman. “Our employees work really hard and I can’t imagine that there are any employees across the state that are any more dedicated or willing to go the extra mile to get the job done.”

Coleman also asked that paid holidays be designated on the district calendar as “offices closed” so employees would have time to plan for days off.

According to the calendar approved Monday night, 12-month employees will receive four additional paid holidays next school year to include the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and July 4. The days which have normally been designated as “all schools and offices closed” are Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Each year, classified employees get 10 vacation days, 10 sick days, three emergency days and three personal days. Certified employees don’t get any vacation days, but do get 10 sick days, three emergency days and three personal days.

Coleman asked the board to review a packet of data she compiled after obtaining information from the other districts in the state.

The board also:

• named Jeff Breeding, a teacher at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School, as employee of the month.

• approved the following outof state trips:

Letcher County Central High School softball team will compete in a tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., April 8 through April 13. The LCCHS baseball team will participate in a tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 9 through April 11.

The preschool classes at Arlie Boggs and West Whitesburg elementary schools will visit the Hands On Museum in Johnson City, Tenn., on May 3.

The eighth-grade class at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School will be in Charleston, S.C., May 4 through May 6.

The girls’ basketball team at Letcher Elementary School will travel to Sevierville, Tenn., on May 5.

Classes from Letcher Elementary School will visit the Hands on Museum in Johnson City, Tenn., on April 20.

The band at Letcher Elementary School will travel to Sevierville, Tenn., on May 15.

• accepted as a first reading changes to board policy concerning certified and classified personnel transfer. Transfer requests for the upcoming school year must be made by May 15.

• approved advertising for bids for the following items for the 2012–2013 school year: soft drinks and flavored water; block and stoker coal; bus parts and supplies; maintenance materials (electrical and plumbing); filters; other insurances; service on alarms, clocks and intercoms; custodial supplies; maintenance service on refrigeration equipment ; blacktopping; bus/fleet insurance; maintenance materials (carpentry and masonry); maintenance materials (refrigeration); batteries; gasoline; tires; retreading; lubricants; and water.

• approved advertising bids for the 2012–2013 school year in cooperation with the Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative for the following items: custodial supplies; instructional supplies; paper; school food service supplies; school pictures; athletic equipment ; bread and bread products; milk and milk products; and pest control.

• approved contracts with Quicksand Farms, LLC for treatment of the LCCHS baseball field, Fleming-Neon Elementary School football field and LCCHS soccer field. Total cost is $8,200.

• approved ca ontract with D-C Elevator Company Inc. to furnish complete maintenance on elevators at LCCHS and Fleming-Neon Elementary School .

• approved the following payment of claims for services rendered for the construction of the Letcher County Area Technology Center: PENCO Products, $7,466.10; Tom Sexton & Associates, $9,472; and Sherman Carter Barnhart, $4,881.93.

• approved the financial report, payment of claims, transfers and salaries. Gary Caldwell, district finance director, reported an actual balance of $5,782,013.83, with $982,911.68 in a construction fund. Caldwell projects to end the fiscal year with $1.7 million in the contingency fund.

• learned of the resignation of Michael Whitaker, LCCHS head football coach.

• learned of classified retirements of Yvonne Miller, a custodian at FNES, and Theresa Seals, an instructional assistant II at LCCHS.

The next board meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. on April 23 in the Lendell Smith Memorial Room at the Letcher County School Bus Garage.

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