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The Shelby County Board of Education voted Thursday to seek bids for the athletic facilities for the new Martha Layne Collins High School.
The base package of $4.6 million includes a multipurpose stadium for football, soccer and track, as well as game fields for baseball and softball. Alternates (upgrades), which could be added after the board sees the final cost, could bring the total to $6.5 million.
Duanne Puckett, community relations coordinator for the school system, said there were 32 line items that could be used as a “shopping list” for board members.
“Once the bids come back in, they can determine which items fit into the budget,” she said.
Architects from Sherman-Carter-Barnhardt sized down some of the plans for the facilities after board members expressed concern about the cost at a work session on the topic on July 15. Seats were scaled back to 1500 home seats in the stadium grandstand, for example.
The architects told the board members that because of the current market, actual bids from construction companies could be less than the estimated costs.
That would allow the board to choose more options, Puckett said.
The board originally was scheduled to vote on the bid at its July 9 meeting, but tabled the issue after member Sam Hinkle began a discussion about considering other options.
At the work session July 15, Superintendent James Neihof presented the board with sample team schedules if Collins High was to share the baseball, softball and soccer fields at the Shelby County Athletic Complex near Clear Creek Park.
Neihof said the possibility of rained-out games would make that option difficult.
Hinkle expressed concern about spending a lot of money on athletic facilities instead of other needs in the district that would help student achievement.
Hinkle was absent from Thursday's vote.
Bids need to be selected quickly because of the short time frame to have the facilities in place for when Collins opens in August 2010.
Other action taken during Thursday's school board meeting:
Board members voted to accept a bid of $6,000 from Thompson Excavating to tear down and remove an old barn on school property on Benson Road across from East Middle School.
The board had received bids on July 16 for the removal of the barn, as well as for the removal of vegetation around the area. But members decided to reject the bids for the removal of vegetation and instead use school employees to do that work.
Neihof said he hoped to have the area clear before the first cross-country meet at that location later this year.
Eagle Scout project
The board voted to donate up to 10 surplus computers to Boy Scout Caleb Lawson for him to refurbish and distribute to the homes of Shelby County students without computers.
The project is Lawson's Eagle Scout project.
Assistant Superintendent Kerry Whitehouse said they would work with principals to find students in need of computers.
Lawson told the board the computers could be used to expand the students' knowledge.
“I am convinced if a needy student is given a computer, they would learn and be able to complete homework more easily,” he said.
The board reviewed changes to the administrative procedures for school trips. Buses now will refuel for school trips at the bus garage, which Neihof said will be more efficient.
Board member Allen Phillips said he thought it was a good idea.
“I just think this is the right move and the right way to go,” he said.
The board also heard from Joe Isaacs, from the Kentucky School Boards Insurance Trust, who discussed the school system's insurance policies.
Approved new and revised board policies.
The board approved looking into applying for a grant for Geothermal Technologies Program: Ground Source Heat Pumps though the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Such a system recently was installed at East Middle School.