The Letcher County Central High School softball team may soon get to play on the new softball field located adjacent to the Letcher County Area Technology Center.
“Everything is complete on the softball field except the sod,” said Charlie Thompson, construction manager of the LCC softball field project. “They just cannot get the sod dried.”
Letcher Schools Supt. Anna Craft said the LCC softball team will play home games at the Jenkins softball field until the new field is ready.
“I’m just devastated that we can’t get them on it any faster,” said Craft.
Thompson said he was aggravated as well.
“I feel bad because I had a student come up to me and say thank you for the field,” said Thompson. “Now I have to tell her she can’t play on it Friday.”
Terry Sturgill, district director of special projects, said on Tuesday that the sod has been cut and is scheduled to be delivered on Thursday. The sod is to be rolled out onto the field on Thursday and Friday. It will then be soaked and allowed to set for four days.
Sturgill said the field could be ready by the beginning of May.
“We’ve just got to have our players and our senior players to play a ballgame up there,” said Board Member Will Smith. “We just have to do it. We owe it to them.”
Board Chairman Robert Kiser told Thompson that sod isn’t the only problem he sees with the project.
“It does raise a serious concern that even after coming up and visiting, things that you (said) would be completed on a certain date still weren’t, which to my understanding they are completed now,” said Kiser.
Board Member Dr. Sam Quillen Jr. said that the substantial completion date was Feb. 26.
“If we ever get it completed it will be the most beautiful field in Kentucky,” said Smith.
The board was hesitant to approve paying bills for the construction of the softball field.
“It does create a real problem to pay a bill if they have not completed their work,” said Kiser.
Craft said the board could withhold the final payment until it is satisfied with the work. Sturgill said the contract contains a penalty clause.
The project, which also includes two tennis courts and a golf putting green, is 71 percent finished, said Sturgill.
The board approved the following payment of claims for services rendered for the construction of the field: Tree Top Landscaping, Inc., $50,155.21; Don Amburgey’s Plumbing, $2,250; Complete Electrical Systems, $41,117.40; Cumberland Cape Electric $946.89; Rising Sun Developing, Inc., $90,956,99; Atlas Metal Products, $3,121; Codell Construction, $5,540; Consulting Services Incorporated, $7,500; and Sherman Carter Barnhart, $1,649.60.
In other business, Assistant Supt. Twyla Messer told the board the district has recently hired five new bus drivers.
Messer said the classroom for the new law and justice program at the Letcher County Area Technology Center is in the final stages of completion.
Quillen said with the environmental impact study for the federal prison being granted, he wants students to be trained and ready to work if the prison is built in Letcher County.
“Think how awesome it would be for our students to get those jobs,” said Craft.
Kenny Cornett, director of pupil personnel, said the district’s student enrollment is now at 3,217, up slightly from 3,214 this time last year.
“I do anticipate with unemployment that may change, but I hope not,” said Cornett.
Regina Brown, president of the Letcher County Teachers’ Organization (LCTO), said members of the organization plan to give one scholarship to a staff member’s child who is going to college with the intent to become a teacher and one scholarship to a staff member’s child who will be majoring in something besides education.
Brown asked the board to consider entering into a bargaining agreement with LCTO and Kentucky Education
Support Personnel Association (KESPA).
“We’re losing a superintendent who has always supported us and we don’t know who the next superintendent is going to be sitting in that chair,” she said.
The board also:
• named Shannon Crawford, a teacher at West Whitesburg Elementary School, as employee of the month.
• learned that Cameron Wright, an incoming senior at LCCHS, will be the student representative to the board for the 2013–2014 school year.
• approved the Letcher Fire Department’s request to use the Letcher Middle School gymnasium for a Ralph Stanley concert on July 12.
• approved the operation of a summer feeding program open to all children under the age of 19. Preparation and feeding sites will be at LCCHS, Letcher Elementary School and Fleming-Neon Middle School.
• learned of the resignation of Jaclyn Burke, a substitute teacher, and the retirements of William Taylor, a district-wide teacher, and Jeraldine Cornett, a bus driver for WWES.
The board entered into executive session at 8:31 p.m. “for the purpose of discussing litigation, personnel and/or property.” The board came out of executive session at 9:55 p.m., at which time Kiser said no action was taken while the board was behind closed doors.
The next regular board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on May 20 in the Lendell Smith Memorial Conference Room in the school bus garage.