By Dean Manning
For the Mountain Advocate
Striving to hit the self-imposed deadline of holding the bond sale for the $25 million Corbin Middle School project in December, Kevin Cheek of Sherman, Carter, Barnhart Architects presented the Corbin Board of Education with the “BG 1,” which outlines what the project will be.”
Cheek said he met with representatives from the Kentucky Department of Education Wednesday an presented them with a proposed space allocation document for new school based drawn up based on discussions at the March meeting and meeting with school faculty and staff.
The documents call for 23 traditional classrooms, five science classrooms, two computer classrooms and separate classrooms for art, band and vocal music.
As requested by faculty, space has been allocated for a stage, high school sized basketball court in the gym, piano lab, and additional science classroom.
With the additional space allowance requests to meet with KDE standards, Cheek noted the area of the new building will be an estimated 110,000 square feet, as opposed to the 99,887 square feet KDE allots for a middle school designed for 800 students.
“They seemed very supportive,” Cheek said of the KDE officials at the meeting.
With the BG 1 in place and prior instructions from the board to consider the 26 acres of property a, “blank slate,” Cheek said the next step is for Sherman, Carter, Barnhart to begin work on floor plan schemes.
Cheek asked the board to schedule a special called meeting at 5 p.m. on April 23 to review and hopefully approve a schematic design from the four presented
The cost of the project was initially estimated at $21 million, with the state allocating approximately $19 million because the current building made a statewide list of school facilities most in need of replacement.
The school system is required to commit all of its available bonding capacity, which will stand at $5.125 million when the bond sale is held.
With the board’s decision to bring sixth grade to the new school, the cost of the project has increased to $25 million. The state will be contributing $19.875 million.
The schedule for the project calls for it to be let for bid in October and for bids to be received on Nov. 12. The bond sale will be held Dec. 15.
When Cheek met with the board in February to discuss ideas for the site, he explained that in order to incorporate the existing buildings, keep the existing soccer field and fit regulation baseball and softball fields onto the campus, a significant amount of site work will be required, as the only place the fields would fit is on what is now a hill near the existing entrance.
Cheek estimated that work would cost approximately 10 percent of the budget for the project.
Other options discussed include orienting the building to open it up to a view of the city.
“When I was up there with Mr. (Ed) McNeel (superintendent) earlier on, we were talking about what a great view it would be if you were sitting here and looking out towards the city,” said Board Member Todd Childers.
Another option Cheek is considering is using the ground currently occupied by the soccer field as the site for the building because it requires less site work and will better use the campus space.
The Corbin School Board and the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence reached an agreement in September 2013 for the school system to purchase the property after the Catholic school was closed in May 2013 after 105 years of operation.
The school system paid $1 million for the 26 acres of property and two buildings. As part of the agreement, the payments are being made over a five-year period.
The alternative school was moved from South Main Street to the property at the beginning of the current school year. When construction on the middle school begins, the alternative school will return to its former location.
McNeel said previously that the school is scheduled to be opened in 2018 or early 2019.