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Board OKs land purchase, talks calendar

BY KATHLEEN FOX kfox@paducahsun.com

The McCracken County Board of Education approved the purchase of a piece of property and discussed possible changes to the district calendar.

During a meeting Thursday night at the district office, the board approved the purchase of a 4.89-acre tract of real estate at 4445 Metropolis Lake Road in West Paducah, adjacent to Heath Elementary School. The district will buy the land for future use at a cost of $20,000, which is fair market value determined by a real estate appraisal, according to Superintendent Nancy Waldrop.

Russ Tilford, director of pupil personnel, presented several options that would tweak the district calendar pending possible legislative action that would waive the 170 instruction day minimum due to the large number of snow days statewide.

If the legislation is approved, the district could change the last day from June 2 back to May 30 by adding time to a handful of days for its elementary schools. The middle and high schools have more flexibility due to a higher than required amount of daily instructional minutes. Graduation will be set for one night during the last weekend in May. The board could meet in special session to approve changes to the calendar depending on the legislative process, he said.

In other meeting business, the board approved the public hearing minutes for the amended district facilities plan. The minutes and the full amendment will now go to the Kentucky Department of Education and the state school board for approval during an April meeting. If approved on the state level, the changes will return to the local board for action.

The board previously approved the recommendation of the local planning committee and a graduated timeline for the 2015-2016 school year. The only alteration applicable for the next school year is the movement of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students currently in the Reidland Middle School building to the newer side of the former high school complex.

The delayed changes include the opening of Reidland Intermediate School for fourth- through eighth-grade students and creating two distinct spaces in the former high school building. Board members approved the district to begin the bidding process for the renovation work to that facility during the meeting.

The board also approved a contract with SchoolMessenger for mass electronic notifications as the agreement with the current provider OneCallNow ends this spring. The same company was also approved to develop a custom mobile application for the district at a one-time fee of $3,600.

Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.

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