Construction team at SCHS builds a winning concept

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Board approves joining state readiness program

By Todd Martin

When they begin the downstairs renovation at Shelby County High School, they may want to look in-house for a few ideas.

The Rocket Construction team – comprised of B.J. Tingle, John Tingle, Dustin Casey, David Lee and Brandon Seaman – put together a plan and presentation for building a National Association of Home Builders Green Building Standards, silver-level home and earned third place in the Residential Construction Management Competition hosted by the NAHB.

On Thursday, they made the same presentation during the Shelby County School Board meeting.

The team won third place at the competition, but what's more impressive is they were the first team from Kentucky ever to take home a medal.

"There have been Kentucky colleges, junior colleges and high schools compete at this competition, but we're the first to ever earn an award," said Walt Wilson, the team’s coach.

Not only did the team finish third, and but it also was named Rookie of the Year for being the most impressive first-year team.

But that's still not all the team accomplished.

The squad traveled to Orlando, Fla., for the competition and competed against schools that have set curriculum for home building, which Shelby County does not.

"These students found out about the competition and asked if I'd put together a curriculum for them," Wilson told the board. "So we put something together for them, and numerous evenings and every Tuesday night doing the class work and did the packet work on their own time."

The group’s 31-page packet outlined their plans, materials, schedule and costs. Each student presented their section to the board, and the group also took questions.

B.J. Tingle and John Tingle did the drafting for the project, and both learned AutoCAD, a computer-aided design software program used to create drawings and plans, and that caught board member Doug Butler's eye.

"This is real-world stuff you're doing here," he told the group. "My company is looking for an AutoCAD operator right now. I'm serious. We need to talk after the meeting."

Board member Alan Phillips asked if the school might have another group compete again next year.

"In order for us to compete, we need a group of students that are willing to spend the time like these young men did," he said. "They really got into it."

SCHS upgrades

Speaking of those renovations at SCHS the board approved $500,000 for paint, carpet, media-center upgrades, technology for intelligent classrooms and band/orchestra/music storage on the first floor.

"That would get us nearly completed with that project, with about half of that money going toward technology," Superintendent James Neihof told the board. This money is not included in the budget but will come from the general fund escrow account.

Commitment to College and Career Readiness

The board approved joining the Commissioner of Education and Kentucky Board of Education's Commonwealth Commitment, which says that the number of seniors that meet college and career readiness standards will increase by 50 percent between 2010 and 2015.

Last year 36 percent of the seniors in Shelby County met those standards.

Neihof recommended the board approve the commitment, but he also added that he has a bigger goal in mind.

"I love the idea of setting that goal at 100 percent for a future year, and I think this is a great step in that direction," he said.

Also at the meeting, the board approved:

  • Direct purchase and change orders for Collins High School, tabling one item while the district waits on the proper paperwork from the construction company.
  • Contracts for the maintenance of the athletic fields.
  • Four new and four revised job descriptions. The changes, however, will not add any additional cost and make no changes to the budget.