The Paducah Independent School District Board approved the purchase of seven properties close to Paducah Tilghman High School for construction of a new Head Start facility.

The board approved the purchase of the total 5 acres of property for a total of $355,000. The purchase is subject to the approval of the Kentucky Department of Education.

The board approved the purchase of properties at the following addresses:

• 330 Otis Dinning Drive, $26,000.

• 402 Otis Dinning Drive, $110,000.

• 2200 Washington St., $92,500.

• 2115 Polk St., $13,000.

• 2121 Polk St., $23,000.

• 2203 Polk St., $38,500.

• 2205 Polk St., $52,000.

The new Head Start facility project was made possible through federal disaster relief grants provided April 2 after the current Head Start building on South Sixth Street was damaged by flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.

The cost of the purchase of these seven properties is included in the $14.5 million in federal disaster relief funding.

“Where we’re so blessed is this entire project is being paid through the federal disaster relief funds through two grants that we received,” Superintendent Donald Shively said. “There’s additional staff that we’re able to get with the grants that we will start adding to our Head Start preschool.”

The original plan for a new Head Start facility was to place it close to the new Paducah Innovation Hub behind the high school. The proposed purchased property is across Otis Dinning Drive from PTHS and along Polk Street, northeast of the school.

The district board bought 1.5 acres of land at 2220 Washington St. in April 2018 for $195,000. When that property was bought, Shively said the land would be used for new band and football practice fields to replace those overrun by the Innovation Hub construction.

Shively said Monday that the band and football practice fields would be close to the Paducah Innovation Hub and the football stadium.

The board also approved the purchase of 1.5 acres of land at 408 Otis Dinning Drive on Sept. 16 for $49,000.

“This brings (the Head Start facility) closer to our other schools — across the street from Tilghman, a quarter of a mile from two elementary schools (McNabb and Morgan) and about a mile from Clark (Elementary),” Shively said. “Obviously, that increases our efficiency of services.”

Shively added that its proximity to PTHS would bolster the early childhood elementary pathway through the high school’s family consumer science department.

“That will really help to create a pathway for the educational profession,” he said. “We envision the ability for kids to gain experience in working in a preschool setting — just like they walk to Baptist Health-Paducah and have a real-life experience of what it’s like to work in a hospital and in the health field.”

The board also accepted the bid of $574,148 made by MP Lawson Construction for districtwide modifications to school buildings to conform with security requirements laid out in School Safety and Resiliency Act of 2019.

Those modifications include secure entry vestibules so that entry to schools is controlled from inside the main office or other secure area.

The board also officially amended the 2019-20 school calendar to reflect the changes made following the in-person instruction shutdown in March.

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