If there is one good thing about the recent downpours of rain, it is testing the new drainage system for construction at Hunter Hills Elementary School.

That was the statement of Ray Vaske and David Jackson who are overseeing the construction project at the southern county school to Laurel County School district board members on Monday evening.

As construction manager and architect of the project, Jackson and Vaske gave a brief update to board members about the progress that they said is going extremely well. Jackson told board members that the preparations taking place now will only accent the completion of the project during the summer months when school is not in session.

The board also recognized the North Laurel Middle School girls seventh grade basketball team for their recent championship title and undefeated season. The team logged in a 28-0 season in 2019 with an overall record of 57-0 in the past two years.

Superintendent Dr. Doug Bennett praised the team for their success, citing that the team had an overall record of 57 wins and no losses in the past two seasons in which they were named the champions in their division.

"These girls really are champions in every sense," he said.

Board members also approved the lowest bid for copier services, which was Toshiba out of Somerset. Bennett said the overall usage was 17 million copies. Even with the lowest bid, Tobisha's bid also included supplying machines, service and replacement if necessary.

Also approved was the District Facility Plan.

The artificial turf project for North Laurel High School's football field was another topic discussed during Monday's meeting. Board members approved the cost estimate for $883,587.50 which includes the gravel, turf, geo-technical inspections, architect fees and other costs. The project will be submitted to Kentucky Department of Education for approval and will be advertised for bids. The vote was not unanimous, with Ed Jones continuing to vote "no" to the project. Board Chairman Jeff Lewis stated that he was voting "yes" to the project.

"I will vote 'aye' because I do not want to hold this project up," he said. "We've hashed it over enough, so this vote carries."

Board members also approved the School Facilities Construction Commission (SFCC) offer for $40,957 in financial assistance to receive bonds for future construction. Board members also approved attendance of one board member and the superintendent at the Kentucky School Board Association's annual conference set for Feb. 21-23.

Three new positions within the school district were also approved during Monday's meeting. In that action, North Laurel High School will add a four-hour cook/baker position, Johnson Elementary will have a 7-hour cook/baker position and a preschool assistant will be added to Sublimity Elementary's employee roster/

Other actions included approval of:

• FY 20 contract modification to the Family Resource/Youth Service Centers;

• Laurel County Commercial Drivers License Examiner's contract with Casey County board of education; and

• South Laurel Middle School to apply for KEDC ASPIRE Summer Congressional Academy.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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