The Hazard Independent School Board met on Thursday to discuss progress on the improvements to Walkertown Primary and Roy G. Eversole Middle School.
District officials have been working with architects to make changes to their elementary and middle schools. These changes will make for healthier schools as well as schools meetings all the current standards. In order to make the best use of the space and resources in the district, the elementary and middle schools will switch buildings.
Hazard will soon be accepting bids for work on the buildings that will include some construction, plumbing, all new HVAC in certain areas of the buildings and chair lifts for handicap students and faculty. Several of the improvements are being made in response to issues found by the architects such as outdated plumbing.
Architect Scott Noel said that they should have the final plans for the projects by the next board meeting so they can be approved before being sent to the Kentucky Department of Education. He said that he believed the plans would be back in time to prepare for construction to begin during the summer. The construction will begin with Walkertown and the middle school will follow shortly after.
The project is currently projected to cost around $1.9 million, however, the schools may elect for a few extras since they allotted $2.7 million. These extras could include a walkway between the gym and school at Walkertown to keep children from having to walk outside.
“If we are able to take a little more money and do it right, it would take care of all of the drainage for all that portion of the site and also keep the students all under one roof,” said Noel.
Superintendent Sandra Johnson said that due to the changes in the buildings it may be necessary to change the names of the schools.
“As the middle and elementary schools change buildings, they are going to need to know what the names of their buildings are,” said Johnson.
Since Roy G. Eversole had acted as an elementary school in the past, the name change would not be a difficult one for that particular building.
“My recommendation is to leave it Roy G. Eversole Elementary, that is already on the side of the building up there, but when we talk about Walkertown then we get into lots of discussions,” said Johnson.
Several former students of the school in the Walkertown and Lothair areas have always discussed whether it should be Walkertown or Lothair. To help decided on this, or choose an entirely different name, the board will appoint a committee of former teachers, students and influential members of the Hazard Independent Schools community.