The Letcher County Board of Education will pay a Harlan County company $36,246 to install a new sound system in the Letcher County Central High School gymnasium after two past companies’ attempts to create a system through which people could hear events such as commencement in the gym failed.
The board voted unanimously to award the bid to Sanctuary Sound Systems of Wallins, the higher of two bidders for the job. Branham Productions of Pikeville, bid $31,382
Board Chairman Will Smith said he had gotten several questions about the process used to select the best bid. He said the board appoints four employees who review the bids and give their findings to Superintendent Denise Yonts. She said the bids were very similar, but Sanctuary wanted 50 percent of the cost before the job begins, and Branham wanted 80 percent.
“Given that, I recommend Sanctuary Sound,” she said.
Branham told the board at the meeting that he could have matched the 50 percent costs if he had known.
Smith told Sanctuary Sound owner Brad Abraham that the board will be holding the final payment back until it makes sure the system works as he says it will.
“We want it done right,” he said. “We want to be able to hear in that gym. We’ve put money out twice.”
In other business at the special called board meeting Monday night, the board:
• Heard a report from Letcher Area Technology Center Principal Dejah Newsom that every program in the school has now been listed a “high-demand” career, and the school is now able to offer dual credit in more classes with the Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, meaning the 123 students now enrolled in dual credit classes will receive both high school and college credit for their work.
• Heard a report from Ronnie Goins, director of curriculum and instruction, that middle school math testing is underway and scores from standardized tests will import to an online program used by teachers called Study Island. The web-based instruction program will base the skill levels of work students can do on the scores students receive on the tests.
• Approved trips for several schools, including a trip to Disney World for LCCHS cheerleaders to participate in the national cheerleader competition, a trip to Knightstown, Ind., for the LCCHS boys’ basketball team to play in a tournament, and West Whitesburg Elementary, Whitesburg Middle School, Martha Jane Potter Elementary and Fleming-Neon Middle School cheerleaders to go to Lexington to compete in the state cheering competition.