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Wayne County Board of Ed looks towards possibility of remodeling Walker Early Learning Center


     Due to the ever increasing construction costs for a new preschool-kindergarten facility, the Wayne County Board of Education paused the new building project plans and are directing the district’s Facility Planning Committee to meet and investigate other options. The committee will then share their findings during the May monthly board meeting.

      If the board chose to go forward with the new building project, there would not be any extra funds to do other projects on campus. Another option would be for the board to wait and see if construction costs go down. The problem is the roof at Walker Early Learning Center must be replaced if the building continues to be used. And the third option would be to remodel the building, with mainly paint and ceiling work, since the building is structurally sound.

       Architect Derek Phillips had shown the board a video with samples of what the renovations could look like at the existing building at the previous meeting. The board was impressed with his work, showing how drastically the building could be re-designed.

        The board members asked Walker Early Learning Center Principal Angela Ballinger what her opinion on the project was since she oversees that school. She said that she loved the location of her school being on a main road, but hated it is outdated. The architect noted that the existing building has 10,000 more feet than the new two-story building planned, which was going to be located at the old Turner Intermediate Building.

         During a renovation project, the superintendent explained that work could go on during a school year because they would shift students to different sections of the building to keep them away from any construction, after a board member inquired about the timing and logistics of a remodel project.

         A discussion concerning the roof at Walker revealed that a PVC roof can last up to 30 years. While it is a little more expensive that the rubber style roofing, the installation is cheaper and believed to be cleaner. It is used at restaurants frequently because it is more resistant to grease from kitchen areas and the school would include a kitchen, of course.

        In another type of building project at the track and soccer field, bids were re-advertised to try and get more participation in an attempt to lower the costs. The board had rejected the bid for the goods and services to accomplish the concrete slab work associated with the soccer field project, during last month’s meeting. However, by trying to get it bid a little lower and breaking it up into three parts, it ended up costing slightly more overall. Bids were received from Conley Gregory Construction, Weddle Enterprises and Fox Enterprises. The board accepted a combined package bid for the ground work and concrete from Conley Gregory Construction for a total of $203,688.84. The board decided to wait on the fencing portion of the bids.

       Additionally, the board approved to pay an invoice to GRW Engineering for $48,207 for professional services in relation to the WCHS Gym Indoor Air Quality Improvement Project.

        In other business:

        *Approved the District Technology Plan having achieved the department’s previous goal of a one to one ratio for Chrome Books so every student has access to their own computer device, plus removing all the old smart boards/projectors while installing a new updated smart board version in every classroom. The future plan will focus on maintaining the 1:1 ratio of Chrome Books as some wear out and are replaced with new ones, as well as training staff more on security precautions.

         *Reviewed an instructional update focused on more complex concepts being integrated into basic reading skills.

          *Agreed to renew the Non-Traditional Instruction Day (NTI) program for the 2022-23 school year.

          *Approved the 2022-23 SBDM allocations.

          *Approved the Pay Application #23 for the Monticello Elementary School Renovation Project for $47,317.89.

          *Will continue a contract with Roberts Insurance for student accident insurance for the 2022-23 school year.

          *Agreed to conduct facilities-related projects and affairs of the Board of Education under the provisions of House Bill 678 enacted during the 2022 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly.

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