City school board hears issues with switching buildings
by Bailey Richards
The Hazard Independent School board met on April 19 to continue working on plans for the renovation of two of the schools in the district. They also finalized the school calendar for the 2012-13 school year, and the school’s nutrition and physical activity report.
Officials with the city school have been working with architects on renovations to both Roy G. Eversole and Walkertown Schools. These schools will see several changes in the coming year, the biggest of which is that they will switch purposes. Roy G. Eversole will become the elementary school, and Walkertown will become Hazard Middle School.
This change will occur over the coming summer, as will the construction projects in each school. At their regular meeting on April 19, board members saw a rendering of what Roy G. Eversole’s building will look like after construction is complete. The outside of the building will be receiving a bit of a face lift along with the inside. All new windows and a more clearly defined stone veneer entrance will give the school a new look.
One the inside, the school will have a new office area, renovated bathrooms and stair lifts to help disabled students. While the architects have been working on plans, they have discovered several problem areas that may require additional work not included in the original plan.
One of these is a sagging cracked portion of the building that could pose a problem down the line.
“These are things that we would like for you to consider us having rolled into this project just to make sure that that doesn’t fall away,” said architect Scott Noel.
The board decided that they would investigate this problem and see if it occurred during the initial settling of the structure when it was built in the 1960s, or if it is a progressive issue that needs tending to immediately.
Another issue that the board discussed at this meeting was the calendar for the next school year. This year Hazard Independent Schools tried a new schedule for the winter months to help students and school officials make a decision on whether or not to close a school due to snow.
In January, the schools opened an hour later to avoid having to cancel classes. While the mild winter made this not necessary for snow, another positive of this schedule change was that students did not have to stand outside in the dark. Superintendent Sandra Johnson said that it was much safer for students since drivers are able to see them while they wait for the bus or walk into school.
This change was met with some mixed feelings from parents, but overall officials believe it was a success. Along with continuing this change for January, the schools also decided to have three days of teacher in-service before school started to help adjust to the switching of schools.
The school board on Thursday also looked at the most recent nutrition and physical activity reports for the schools of Hazard Independent. While the school meals were slightly higher in calories than the set standard, overall the schools performed very well. All of the schools give opportunity for physical activity and meals fall very close to the national goals.
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