Last updated: July 23. 2013 4:21PM - 2152 Views

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by Amelia Holliday — Staff Reporter

HAZARD — The Hazard Independent School Board held its monthly meeting on Thursday at the Hazard Middle School in Walkertown to discuss the completion of construction projects in the district and the possible establishment of new positions.

The board approved two change orders and a pay application request to McKnight and Associates concerning the construction at Hazard Middle and Roy G. Eversole Elementary schools. Joseph Clark, an architect with the firm Clotfelter-Samokar, gave the board an update on the nearly completed construction.

At Roy G., Clark said most of the exterior construction and renovation is complete, including the preschool playground, the entrance canopy, and the new roof.

“Landscaping is underway. It’s about 50 to 60 percent complete,” he said.

Clark added that in the interior of the school the new security vestibule, which will make for a safer procedure for visitors entering and exiting the building, and two renovated computer labs have been finished.

“At Walkertown (Hazard Middle School), the renovation of the administrative suite is complete, that includes the front office, the faculty toilet, and the new guidance and principal’s office, the waiting area, and the faulty workroom,” Clark said. “Project construction is pretty much complete.”

Scott Noel, another architect with Clotfelter-Samokar who attended the meeting with Clark, presented the board with a kind of parting gift since construction work will be finished within the month.

“We kind of started our relationship with you all with the facility evaluations. I haven’t been here in a while, and walking through the buildings today … first thing out of my mouth to Joey (Clark) was we’ve really stretched their money pretty far, and it’s not often you get to say that,” he said. “We work with a lot of districts across the state and you all are one of our most favorite districts to work with. We know how passionate you are about your students.”

Noel told the board his firm would like to make a substantial donation to the district’s Blessings in a Backpack program, which supplies underprivileged students with enough food for two breakfasts and two dinners for each weekend every semester.

“We’re going to come back down and we’re going to buy locally so the money stays in your area, and we’ll make a sizable purchase for some foods and goods to go into your backpack program for your students,” Noel said.

He said this was a way for the firm to show its appreciation for the district’s willingness to trust the firm to do what they were hired to do.

“We know renovations are messy and hard on teachers and faculty, and public perception may give you all a rough way from time to time, so just as an appreciation for allowing us to do what we do and trusting us to do it,” he added.

In other business, the board also approved the establishment of three new positions at the elementary school.

“I guess this is a good problem to have. All three of our kindergarten classes were over capped prior to this morning, and today we had a registration and had six or eight more kindergarteners come in and register,” Superintendent Sandra Johnson told the board.

Johnson said the cap for kindergarten classes is 24 students per class. Under her recommendation, the board approved the establishment of an additional kindergarten teaching position and an additional kindergarten instructional assistant position, which would bring the kindergarten class count up to four.

Johnson also recommended, and the board approved, replacing an RTI (Response to Intervention) teaching position, which will be vacated at the elementary school this year due to a retirement, with an RTI instructional assistant position.

A bid from Clotfelter-Somakar for construction and renovation at Hazard High School was also approved. This was the only bid made for the project.

The annual financial report was presented to the board by the district’s financial officer, Regina Cornett.

According to the report, grand totals mainly include the totals for Fund 1 and Fund 2. The grand total in revenue for the district for the 2012-13 fiscal year was $9,626,317.41 while the grand total in expenditures for the year totaled $7,850,397.28, bringing the grand total for the district’s account to $1,775,920.13.

The board also voted to table discussion of the use of school facilities for fundraising activities until next month’s meeting.

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