By LISA SIMPSON STRANGE
Glasgow Daily Times
The Barren County Board of Education has a new four-year facility plan that includes a long list of wants and needs for the district and a projected total price tag of more than $35 million.
But with only about $6 million available for building projects in the current fiscal year and not much more than that in each of the following three years, board members will have to carefully pick and choose projects by priority of need and individual project cost.
The Barren County Board of Education Local Planning Committee met at 5 p.m. Monday at the Barren County Middle School Media Center to review and then vote on the district’s proposed facility plan. After several meetings during the past few months, the local planning committee approved their final plan prior to a special-called meeting of the board of education where the plan was also unanimously approved.
“Based on our enrollment numbers, our projected enrollment and current costs, this appears to be a document that ... will be accepted by the department of education as our next district-wide facility plan,” said Bo Matthews, Barren County superintendent.
The new facility plan includes some type of project for almost all of the existing buildings in the school district as well as construction of new facilities.
Capital priorities for new construction at existing facilities for the next two years on the plan include:
• Red Cross Elementary – Addition of two standard classrooms at an estimated cost of $432,865 and four preschool classrooms at an estimated cost of $892,784.
Matthews said the continued increases in student enrollment at RCE was the reason for the needed expansion. Current student enrollment is listed at 700 in the plan and building capacity is 640 students.
• Trojan Academy – Construction of a cafeteria at an estimated cost of $862,394 to remove the current eating area from shared space with the gymnasium.
• Barren County Middle School – Addition of four standard classrooms at an estimated cost of $862,394 to alleviate overcrowding. Current enrollment is 686. Building capacity is 425.
• North Jackson Elementary – Addition of one standard classroom, one art room, one computer room and one music room at an estimated cost of $216,432 each or $865,728 total.
• Hiseville Elementary – Construct two resource rooms at an estimated cost of $432,865.
• Temple Hill Elementary – Construct two resource rooms at an estimated cost of $216,432.
There are also two new school projects listed in this section of the plan.
• New Middle School – A 500 student capacity school on a new site to be determined at an estimated cost of $15.8 million.
• New Barren County Agricultural Education Center – Construct four standard classrooms at an estimated cost of $832,703; one arena area, $5.6 million; and two animal science labs, $555,135, to be located on district property on Ky. 90 near the bus garage.
Major renovations/additions of educational facilities include:
• Barren County High School – Major renovations to include media center remodeling, retaining wall repairs - exterior and replace gym lobby flooring. Construct 10 standard classrooms attached to renovated football stadium for a total estimated cost of $2.4 million.
• Austin Tracy Elementary – Major renovation to the 1950 portion of the building not previously renovated to include gym lights, bleachers and floor. Construct one art/science room and one resource room at an estimated cost of $324,648.
• Park City Elementary – Major renovation to the 1950 portion of the building not previously renovated to include gym lights, bleachers and floor at an estimated cost of $200,000.
Major renovations to include roof replacements at the following schools:
• Barren County Middle School – 1994 portion of the building at estimated cost of $900,000; College Street Campus – Estimated cost of $220,000; FRC Building at Austin Tracy – Estimated cost of $25,000; Central Office – Estimated cost of $150,000.
Capital Construction Priorities in Support Areas regardless of schedule include:
• Central Office – Construct a new central office facility at an estimated cost of $2.7 million.
• Hillcrest Annex – Construct central food storage at an estimated cost of $1.1 million.
The total cost of all of the above district need projects is estimated at $35,388,291.
The final category on the facility plan is discretionary construction projects that include multiple projects for district schools such as playground additions and renovations, energy management systems, furniture replacement, outdoor schoolrooms, greenhouses, walking trails and upgrades to sports facilities.
Matthews explained that all these projects will probably not be completed in the next four years, but it is better to put them on the facility plan that will then be approved by the state because if they are not on the plan and additional funding becomes available it will be harder to get them completed.
“We feel like we’ve got a solid plan that’s based on the dialogue that this committee has been able to generate. It certainly reflects on the plans of the past and really will take our district into the future that we all hope and dream for,” Matthews said.