For the first time in about 40 years, Whitley County Middle School is getting a new gym floor.
During a special-called meeting late Thursday afternoon, the Whitley County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the resurfacing of the gym floor.
The board accepted a bid from Signature Sports Floor to install a new “rubber deck” gym floor.
Superintendent Scott Paul said the current floor is the same one that he played on in middle school in 1979.
“We certainly have gotten our money’s worth out of this gym floor, but it is time to resurface it,” Paul noted. “If it lasts another 40 years we will be in good shape.”
Deputy Superintendent Paula Trickett noted that the girl’s basketball team boosters have agreed to contribute $10,000 towards the resurfacing effort.
The new surface will be similar to what is already in place.
In other business, the board:
• Approved fleet, property, liability and worker’s compensation insurance for the 2016-2017 school year, which will total $560,676.
Trickett noted that the district is changing worker’s compensation carriers, which will result in about $60,000 in savings.
• Awarded a $54,592 bid for student athlete insurance to Roberts Insurance. Trickett said this is a slight increase over last year.
• Recognized Accelerated Reader district point winners, including: kindergartener Parker Davis, first grader Micah Jones, second grader Kendall Jones, third grader Chelsea Rein, fourth grader Emily Gaylor, fifth grader Kaylee Hamblin and sixth grader Danielle Smith.
• Recognized Gifted and Talented program students Taylor Baird, Julian Blankenship, Colton Conlin, Brecken Hart, Camron Nantz and Anabeth Sharpe, who were Duke Tip/ACT participants at the state level. To be recognized at the state level, the seventh grade students had to score at least a 21 or greater in a subject area on the ACT test, which is a college entrance
• Announced the pending retirement of Jill Roaden as district technology director. She will be replaced by Kevin Anderson.
In a related matter, the board voted to create a new instructional assistant position for the Whitley County High School Library. Kellie Anderson is moving from the library to the technology department. The instructional assistant would be taking her place.
Paul said the staffing policy for the library calls for 1.3 librarians, and the move would save the district some money.
“We had an instructional assistant at the library several years ago and did away with that position,” Paul added.
• Met in executive session for 56 minutes to discuss “pending litigation,” but took no formal action. Board officials declined to comment on what the pending litigation was.
On March 22, 2016, the parents of a 10-year-old boy, who was run over by a school bus when he got off of it last year, filed suit against the school district, the bus driver, the school board, and numerous school district administrators and employees.
On March 23, 2015, Jonathan Austin Chatham was riding Whitley County school bus #993 home from school when he got off the 1999 International school bus with three other children on Highway 779.
“The victim, Jonathan Chatham, age 10, had just exited the bus, but had not cleared the bus when it began to pull out,” Kentucky State Police Trooper Craig Reed, who is an accident reconstructionist, wrote in the narrative for the traffic collision report. “The juvenile went under the bus tires on the right side of the bus.”
The collision report lists “none detected” under vehicular factors, but notes two human factors, “failed to yield right of way” and “inattention.”