Schools' planning committee taking shape

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By Scotty McDaniel

The school board got the ball rolling in the creation of a Local Planning Committee Thursday, approving the employment of an architect/engineering firm to evaluate existing buildings, and naming board member Allen Phillips as the board's representative on the committee.

The Kentucky Department of Education requires school districts to select a local planning committee to develop plans and outline capital priorities.

Assistant Superintendent for Operations Kerry Whitehouse said that in Shelby County some of those priorities include the renovation of Shelby County High School and the future construction of a new elementary school and middle school.

This 20-person team will be made up of individuals from all walks of life, including parents, teachers, building administrators, facility directors, board members, local government officials and more.

"The function is to look at our facilities, evaluate our facilities and put together a district facility plan that will be our plan for four years," Whitehouse said. "That has to be approved by the board and the Kentucky Department of Education."

The addition of an architect/engineer is a new requirement from the KDE, designed to conduct building evaluations to check structural conditions. The board has not named its firm.

Phillips, a veteran of the planning committee, was selected once again to be its designated board member.

Also at the meeting:

* The board approved a preliminary extended employment/increments schedule for the 2010-11 school year.

* The board recognized Arriba Ninos for winning the Dr. Samuel Robinson Award for its work tutoring Hispanic students.

* East Middle students Ivonne Gonzalez and Mason Daugherty shared their experiences with the PACT (Pathways and Access to Careers in Technology) camp at Kentucky State University over the summer.

* The board handed out WOW (What Outstanding Work) Awards to Denise Jones, instructional assistant at SCHS, and Linda Miller, instructional assistant at Simpsonville Elementary, for their contributions toward making their schools better.