HAZARD – Though the rumored, and ultimately left unaddressed, termination of John Paul Amis as superintendent of Perry County Schools drew a large crowd to Thursday’s school board meeting, the board was none the less able to tackle several actual business items ranging from a new districtwide video system to title insurance for the new elementary school.
Mike Smith, the district’s technology coordinator, presented the board with a plan for a centralized video distribution system that will essentially allow every school in the district access to a bevy of video resources, from archiving to Kentucky Educational Television.
The system, which will cost roughly $145,000 to install, is planned for the new East Perry Elementary School currently under construction on Highway 80 in Hazard, but Smith explained that because the system’s server will be located at the district’s central office, every classroom in the district will have access. This project will remedy a lack of television access in several classrooms around the county.
“As long as we provide this service to the new school … the other schools will also be able to feed off that too,” Smith noted, adding that the service can add television channels as needed.
Another feature this new system will include is archiving resources. If a video is made of a production by Perry Central’s drama company, or a school board meeting or sporting event, for example, that video can be archived and viewed at any time via the district’s website.
This type of web-based service is how all school districts in the future will eventually relay video signals to each of the schools. In the Perry County district, because officials approved the installation of fiber optic cables several years ago, officials now are able to upgrade to this type of system and include voice, video and data all through the same lines.
Additionally, Smith noted, this system should save money during construction of the new elementary school because it will eliminate the need to run copper coaxial cables throughout the school for a traditional video system, which would have come with a cost of $45,000. Also no longer needed will be repairs to the traditional systems at most of the existing schools, which would have added costs totaling $215,000.
Work to install the new system will be completed by Kentucky Educational Development Corporation.
In other business, the board gave approval for attorney Ron Combs, who completed work for the district on acquiring land for the new elementary school, to begin work to obtain required title insurance on the property.
Combs explained that the insurance will come with a one-time premium cost of $29,000, and will cover the price for which the property was purchased, the value of the portion of the property donated to the district, and the construction cost.
The board also approved a revised project application form for a planned baseball facility at Buckhorn School. Melinda Joseph-Dezarn, with the architectural firm Ross Tarrant, requested that the board alter the application to include funding for the project in the form of coal severance, rather than money obtained through a bond. The project will cost an estimated $160,000.
The board also voted to keep the district’s motor vehicle tax rate at 49.7 cents per $100 of assessed value, and approved action to purchase four new buses, along with a pay application of $338,500 for the athletic complex located at the new elementary school.