By Rhonda Smyth, CV&T News Editor
A schematic design for the proposed new West Irvine Elementary School building was presented to the Estill County School Board by Ross Tarrant Architects at a meeting at central office Monday.
But the first order of business was an executive session to discuss the purchase of some property near the building site.
According to Superintendent Bert Hensley, the property’s acquisition will make it easier for students to be in class during the construction. The new building will be built on the same land on which the current school is located.
The board voted to purchase property owned by the late Billy L,.Wilson from his estate for $75,000. It is behind the existing building.
The schematic design is sort of a rough draft of what the building will be. The design calls for a building with two classroom wings and a central common area.
The proposed lunchroom and gymnasium will seat 600 students each. Each of the 20 classrooms will be 850 square feet and will include storage areas.
There will be an administrative suite near the front entrance along with a media center and two computer labs.
“We are about a month behind where we wanted to be, but are still on track to be ready to bid the project next spring,” Assistant Superintendent Randall Christopher said.
After the board approved the schematic design, it will be sent to the Kentucky Department of Education for their approval.
The cost of the school based on the median $170 per square foot is $12,609,000. Instructional Supervisor, Testing Coordinator Joyce Christopher reported on how each school performed on last year’s comprehensive testing.
She told the board that practical living, arts and humanities and writing portfolio previously included were omitted for this testing cycle.
“Students were tested on reading, math, science and on demand writing,” she said. “We used a formula to calculate a transition index from the old tests to the new ones,” she said.
The same students aren’t tested on the same subjects every year. She pointed out that the third graders tested in reading and scoring more than 100 were the same students tested in that subject in 2009.
West Irvine Elementary was the only school that met all their targets for 2009.
“West Irvine is classified as being on track,” Christopher said.
The county as a whole met 10 of 13 targets. Targets weren’t met in the children with disabilities category.
“Some individual school didn’t have enough students with disabilities to report, but as a whole the district did,” she said. “It is the same problem we have encountered before. I have asked our coach who was assigned to help us reach proficiency how to fix the problem and hope she will have some answers for us,” she said.
Hensley asked the board to set times they can meet with each school’s principal to discuss strategies to reach all their targets in the future.
District Treasurer Angie Howell discussed what she called a working budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
“it is a balanced budget totaling $15.4 million,” she said.
She also told them that the contingency fund is more than the two percent required by the state. The board accepted the working budget.
In other business the board:
*Voted to give the Kentucky Department of Transportation a temporary right of way during the widening of Winchester Road for which they will receive $2,300;
*Approved a proposal from M & M Paving to fix the parking lot at South Irvine for $49, 957;
*Approved a proposal by M & M Paving for work on the Estill Springs parking lot for %5,667.20;
*Approved out of state trips for Estill High FBLA to Maryland for eight students along with their sponsor Connie Witt;
*Approved an out of state trip request for seventh grade students to visit Chicago;
*Approved a trip to Puerto Rico for the Estill High Spanish class along with their teacher Sherry Murphy and an appropriate number of adult chaperones.
*Voted to purchase one new bus at a cost of $80,823
The board also approved personnel actions.