Fate of school facility updates up in the air

-A A +A
By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - The fate of a pair of new or renovated elementary schools in Bullitt County remains a bit of a mystery.

After the Bullitt County Public School Board voted 3-2 to reject a recommendation to build a new Maryville Elementary and to then build a new Mount Washington Elementary when funding allowed.

That sent the issue back to the Local Facilities Planning Commission for a reconsideration of its recommendation.

However, there was one problem.

During the commission’s meeting set for May 29, there was not a quorum so no official business could be conducted.

At its meeting in April, superintendent Keith Davis outlined another alternative - to renovate both schools.

During its initial meeting, the facility planners looked at the option of renovation to the schools.

However, after discussion, the commission unanimously voted to build brand new schools - one at a time.

Facilitator Butch Canty said several things could occur.

If the planners voted to change their mind and recommend renovation over new construction, the school board would vote on that.

The measure would then be sent to the state Department of Education for approval.

If the planners did not change their minds and opted for the new facilities and the school board did not change its vote, the state could be brought into the mix.

At the state level, Canty said the Department of Education could side with the local board.

Or, since the planning committee membership could change in 2015, the state may opt to wait until new members are on board to consider the facilities plan.

The school board is responsible for setting the next planning meeting. Canty said it could also opt to wait until after the end of the year.

Canty said this would delay construction.

The current facilities plan has the construction of two new schools.

With a bonding capacity of around $13 million, that would build one school. It was estimated that it might take another five years to build up enough bonding capacity to start the next school.

The committee recommended building Maryville Elementary first, due to its truly open classroom setting.