There will be another round of bidding before the fate of the old McRoberts School building is decided.
At its April meeting, the Jenkins Independent Schools Board of Education met in closed session before voting to reject all bids submitted.
While the decision to talk about the bids behind closed doors came as a surprise to audience members, Board Attorney Tim Crawford cited an opinion from the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office that he said allows school boards to go into executive session to decide the outcome of a bid opening.
Crawford also said that since all the bids were rejected, there would be no further negotiation. He said anyone still interested in buying the property should follow the bidding directive as advertised in the new bid announcement.
Board Chairman Durward Narramore Jr. said he expects the bids to be advertised May 7, with prospective bidders having 21 days from then to submit their offers. Under Narramore’s timeline, the Letcher County Fiscal Court will be able to discuss whether or not it wishes to submit a bid on behalf of the county government at the court’s May 19 scheduled meeting. Narramore said the Jenkins board intends to advertise the property in regional and statewide newspapers as well as local ones.
District Five Magistrate Wayne Fleming, who represents Jenkins and McRoberts on the Letcher Fiscal Court, attended the meeting and asked if there would be an opportunity to negotiate the purchase of the building after the bids were rejected. But attorney Crawford said that under Kentucky Law, the property must be rebid with all bids considered.
At the fiscal court’s May meeting, the court voted to authorize Judge/Executive Jim Ward to enter into negotiations for the old school property in hopes of using it as a replacement for the Boone Fork Senior Citizens Center.
The building that housed the Boone Fork Center is unsafe and will be demolished.
In other business, the board voted to accept the revised calendar for the current school year, which sets the last day of school for students at May 27.
Director of Pupil Personnel Rondall Baker told the board that following action taken by the Kentucky General Assembly, the Jenkins system will meet the requirement for 1,066 school hours, which is the number of hours required by the DOE for the school year.
The board also voted to set the opening day of school for the 2014 – 2015 school year for students at August 6.
The board also honored several students for academic and athletic achievements. Elementary School Academic Coach Lynn Gilliam introduced the Jenkins Elementary Academic Team, whose members are: Timothy Thompson, Makala Stambaugh, Julie Kiser, Abigail Bentley, Arianna Bentley, Mickey Ward, Delaney Johnson, and Austin Johnson. The team placed first in Quick Recall and fourth overall in the regional competition with Letcher County and Harlan County schools.
JHMS student Caitlyn Estevez is the recipient of a Governor’s Scholars scholarship and Hunter Branham has been offered a full academic scholarship to Morehead State University. Colton Bowling was named all- district in Band, and Jody Hayes won the John Fox Jr. Award for his poem, “Where I’m From.”
Hayes read his poem for the board and said it was inspired by Kentucky Poet and author George Ella Lyons’s poem of the same name.
The board also honored the Lady Cavs softball team for winning the All ‘A’ Regional Championship. Board Vice Chairman Tracy Goff, who also helps coach the Jenkins track team, introduced two pole vaulters who achieved at a high level this year.
Tanner Goff, who is in his third year as a pole vaulter, recently broke the school record with a vault of 12 feet, 6 inches. He is ranked second in the state in pole vaulting and has qualified for the state track meet in the event.
Reanna Elswick tied the girls’ school record for the pole vault in the second meet of the season and broke it at a meet in Leslie County. She recently vaulted 8 feet and is tied for fifth in the state in pole vaulting. Tracy Goff said Elswick is on track to qualify for the state meet as well.
Lady Cavs basketball player Whitney Creech was chosen second- team all state in girls’ high school basketball and was the leading scorer in the state for the second year in a row.
— By WILLIAM FARLEY