Hunter Hills, NLHS construction projects approved

A drawing of the new design at North Laurel High School with artificial turf was displayed for school board members during Monday's meeting. Board members approved the first financial phase of the project.

Construction projects were the top subject for members of the Laurel County school board on Monday night.

David Jackson of Hacker Bros. showed pictures on the progress at Hunter Hills Elementary. The project is now removing ceiling tiles in the school. Jackson said that the HVAC system could not be completed until school is out of session this summer. He added, however, that teachers are using the absent ceiling tiles as a means of teaching students about the heat and air system.

"The feedback we've gotten has been great," Jackson said. "The teachers are using the construction as a teaching tool."

The construction, he said, will involve new HVAC and cooling towers on the campus as well as new piping and ductwork to upgrade the school into the geothermal system.

The next project involves the installation of artificial turf on the North Laurel High School football field. Superintendent Dr. Doug Bennett said the transition from natural grass to artificial turf would benefit different programs at the football field.

"The artificial turf will have more durability and will eliminate bald spots and won't retain water," he explained. "The artificial turf will serve multi-purposes like band shows and regional soccer meets that we can't do now."

A representative from Sherman Barnhart Carter architectural firm told board members the new surface would provide a "safe, resilient surface 24/7" and would be usable "rain or shine."

A rendering of the new area was displayed for board members, including the new track area that will allow for pole vault and two high jump areas around the track. The redesigned area will combine the area for football and soccer as well as the cross country and track activities.

Board members then approved the Capital Funds Request for $883,588 toward the installation of the artificial turf. Bennett added that the $1.5 million for renovation at both high school football fields was included in the yearly budget.

The purchase of additional handicapped buses was also approved during Monday evening's meeting, as was the re-creation of a District employee benefits specialist and two custodian positions. A third party CDL examiner position was also added to the roster of employees. Bennett said the person hired for that position would be able to conduct testing for Laurel County drivers. Testing would also be available to other counties wishing to take advantage of the closer proximity for CDL testing. Bus drivers are required to obtain the CDL license to operate passenger buses.

In other actions, board members approved:

• Acting as fiscal agent for the Laurel County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (A.S.A.P.) for the 2019-2020 school year;

• Christian Appalachian Project's Operation Sharing Gifts In Kind contracts with Laurel County Day Treatment;

• Nomination of two students for the KSBA (Kentucky School Board Association) First Degree scholarship program.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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