Corbin Board of Education authorizes superintendent to call meeting of long range facilities planning committee
Construction at the new Corbin Middle School is on pace to have the building ready when the 2018-19 school year begins and the Corbin Board of Education has begun the process to determine where grades three, four and five will be housed.
At a working session of the board Monday night, the board authorized Superintendent Dave Cox to call a meeting of the long range planning committee with the goal of developing a new facilities plan for the school system.
When the new middle school is finished, not only will the seventh and eighth grades be moving from the current middle school, but it will also house the sixth grade from the intermediate school.
While the long-term plan is to construct a new building to house the third, fourth and fifth grades, and move the preschool to an addition at the primary school, Cox said the school system’s bonding potential is tied up in the primary school, the renovations to the high school and the new middle school and sufficient bonding capacity to finance a new building will not be available until 2037.
Board officials explained that multiple bonds have been issued to finance the projects. However, unlike the typical car loan and mortgage, when one bond is paid off, the payment increases on the next bond.
While the primary school will be paid off in 2026, Cox said the payments would automatically go toward the high school and then middle school bonds.
Currently, the school system has approximately $5.6 million in bonding capacity.
The board was presented with several options including keeping the preschool in its existing building, and using the potential addition at the primary school to house the third grade. The old middle school building would then be renovated to house the fourth and fifth grades.
This option calls for the school system to secure financial assistance from the state through the Kentucky Department of Education’s School Facilities Construction Commission’s unmet facility needs fund as the current long term plan calls for the construction of six preschool classrooms at the primary school.
Cox said he and David Jackson with Hacker Brothers Construction spent several days looking at the elementary, intermediate and middle school buildings and determined that the middle school is the most fixable.
“It is a big, open box,” Hacker said of the middle school.
Cox added that if the school system uses any of its bonding capacity to renovate the elementary or intermediate school buildings, it is married to those buildings until the bonds are paid off.
“Whether we use it or not,” Cox noted.
Cox said whatever the planning committee recommends, the school system is not in a position to finance multiple projects.
“We have some puzzle pieces to move around for a couple of years,” Cox said. “We can’t do it all at the same time.”
Cox said the planning committee is made up of 20 members including faculty and staff members, central office administrators, community representatives, Corbin Building Inspector Frank Burke, a board member and Cox.
Cox said sent out an email Tuesday to the individuals that served on the previous planning committee asking if they are willing to serve again.
“My goal is to have the first meeting prior to spring break,” Cox said adding there is no timetable for the committee to bring its recommendation to the board.
Cox said while the board discussed a few options Monday night, those are not the only options.
“The committee will start with a blank slate,” Cox said. “We have three buildings and three grades and will look at any ideas. We will see where the discussion goes from there.”