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School board looks at mobile units

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'If we don't get any other problem fixed, let's get that problem fixed.'

By Leslie Moore

 

Taylor County Schools Superintendent Roger Cook was given approval to place a bid for two mobile units that will be used as classrooms at Taylor County Elementary School.

"They don't look too good," Cook said as he showed a photo of one of the units at the Board's regular meeting on Tuesday.

Cook said the mobile units will provide four classrooms and alleviate overcrowding issues at TCES.

Although the mobile units were previously used for the same purpose at an elementary school in Clarkson, Cook said the exterior vinyl is in poor condition and one unit is missing a compressor and air conditioner.

Therefore, Cook assured the Board that the bid will be low. The motion was made by Board member Jim Cheatham and seconded by Board member Lillian Clark.

Cook said it would cost about $8,000 to move the units from Leitchfield and set them up. According to Cook, other units closer were too expensive, and it would cost too much to move units from another state.

Cook said he knows others have viewed the units, but he doesn't know if any other bids have been placed. He said he will know by the middle of next week if the District wins the bid.

But even if the District wins the bid, Cook said they will still need approval from the Kentucky Department of Education to use the units.

Kenny Stanfield, representing Sherman Carter Barnhart architecture firm, said even though setting up the mobile units wouldn't be considered a construction project, the Department of Education has strict policies regarding the use of mobile classrooms.

He said the Board will have to present a detailed plan of how the mobile units would be moved and set, up as well as an architectural drawing to show where the mobile units will be placed on the site.

"The reason they want that is because it has to be a certain proximity to the existing building," Stanfield said. "If it doesn't have restroom facilities in the mobile classroom, then it can only be so far away."

Stanfield said regardless of what students would be placed in the mobile units, they will have to be handicap accessible.

"Since it is a trailer, there's requirements for severe weather and hold-down cables, and we have to detail how that would be tied to the ground so that it would, you know, hold up in a storm," Stanfield said.

Stanfield said getting approval from the Department of Education as well as the Division of Housing, Building and Construction would likely take a considerable amount of time.

"So you could be looking at several months even after you say, 'We've got 'em, let's set 'em up,'" Stanfield said.

Cook also asked the Board to approve the second phase of planning for the construction of a primary center, should the nickel tax be successful.

According to Taylor County Clerk Mark Carney, residents who want the nickel tax to be decided by public vote have 45 days after the Board's approval of the nickel tax on Aug. 20 to circulate a petition, making the deadline to submit a petition Friday, Oct. 4. Carney said the petition would require about 825 signatures.

As of press time, Carney said no committee has been identified to begin the petition.

"So if anybody's out there collecting signatures right now, it's illegal," Carney said. "It wouldn't work."

Carney said the clerk's office will then have 30 days to verify the names and addresses of every person who signs the petition. Because of the time required to complete the process, Carney predicts that if the nickel tax is brought to a public vote, the election will most likely be in early December.

The district facilities plan calls for building a pre-school through second grade building on the current middle and high school campus and a new high school on the district's KY 210 property. The middle and high school buildings would be remodeled, with the current TCMS building housing grades three through five and the current TCHS building housing the middle school. In the plan, the elementary school building would no longer be used.

A motion to approve Cook's request was made by Cheatham and seconded by Board member David Hall.

"I want to break dirt in January," Cook said. "I don't know how realistic that is, but if we knew by the middle of October that the nickel could be successful ... "

He asked Stanfield what a realistic timeframe will be to get started. Stanfield said he would need about 90 days.

"And that would actually work good with the way weather works in Kentucky," Stanfield said. "You want to be ready around February in the event you have a mild winter."

According to Cook, building the primary center is the District's immediate priority.

"We've got to get the elementary school problems solved," he said. "If we don't get any other problem fixed, let's get that problem fixed."

For more from the meeting, see an upcoming issue.