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Expenses for Abandoned Tech Center Continue Mounting

TechmainHOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (8/22/13) – Storage and transportation of windows and window frames for the Hopkins County Career and Technical Center resulted in a $20,000 bill, for which Hopkins County Board of Education members approved payment during this week's meeting.

According to Assistant Superintendent in charge of facilities Steve Gilliam, Contract Glazing Group has been storing the windows and frames for the last couple years after the group was told to hold up on delivery.

Ground was broken for the tech center in May 2011 for a 40,000-square-foot building near the Earlington Exit off the Pennyrile Parkway. After subsidence issues at the site, construction was halted in December 2011.

In November, the board decided that an alternate site would be chosen and that the Earlington Exit site would be abandoned.

A survey of parents, students and community members in March revealed that the majority of respondents favored building a career and technical center at each of the two high schools over having one centrally-located center that both high schools' students could attend.

The school system is involved in litigation with Associated Engineering, the design firm that performed a site evaluation, and with Travelers Insurance for construction risk insurance claims.

The ongoing litigation resulted in this month's bills for $10,255.25 to English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley for legal services to be paid from the general fund; $2,405 for a consulting firm for professional service travel to meet with attorneys in regard to the career and technical center; and, $1,425.45 for an architectural firm to meet with attorneys. Payment of the bills was approved.

In other business, the board learned that school system enrollment has increased by 68 students from this time last year; that installation of security cameras on all school buses is nearly complete; and, that a new security system for facilities requiring Hopkins County Schools supplied ID badges for school entry is being completed.

New Madisonville-North Hopkins High School Principal Tim Huddleston attended the meeting and was introduced. Huddleston said the new academic year had started smoothly.

"I'm very excited to be here (in Madisonville)," said Huddleston. "I feel like I've landed in paradise."

The board also agreed to hold an auction on the former Adult Day Treatment facility, which is the former Anton School building.

Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News

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