In an effort to save money on energy cost, the Bell County School Board of Education approved the use of geothermal well fields in three upcoming projects in the district on Tuesday, according to RossTarrant Architect Roland P. Mueller.
The move will lower operating cost at each facility — Bell County High School, Bell Central and Yellow Creek. It will also free up general fund money for use in other ways.
Geothermal energy is generated by heat stored beneath the earth’s surface. It is clean and safe for the surrounding environment.
Mueller said the school board is also retrofitting light fixtures in its buildings, which will also make the district more energy efficient.
The board also approved the re-creation of an extended service manager for the Frakes School Center. The move will be of no cost to the board. The position was abolished at the beginning of the school year.
Frakes Principal Bill Gibson attended the board meeting Tuesday to speak about the need for the position. The service manager would serve and help cover athletic events at the school and cover the principal’s office when Gibson is not in the building.
The position will be paid for by the school and will cost $2,000 for the year. The position will only be available for a year. According to Bell Superintendent Yvonne Gilliam, the board approved something similar for Bell Central in the past.
The board welcomed Gina Johnson back during the meeting as the new part-time grant writer for the district. The board approved an independent contract with Johnson to acquire her services.
Johnson will work on a two and a half day per week basis for the remainder of the year. There are plans to do a full-year contract next year.
Following the announcement, Johnson spoke about the memorandum of understanding with the Kentucky Office of Local Government.
The board will be receiving reimbursement coal severance funds in the amount of $25,000. They will be getting two or three more checks similar to this in the upcoming months, according to Johnson.
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