Administration at Middlesboro Independent Schools is already looking forward to the end of another school year for another phase of construction to begin at Middlesboro Elementary School. This phase, set to begin in May, will add 2 preschool rooms, an art room and a music room.
The building formerly known as East End School is in a flood plain so no new additions or construction are allowed. With the closing of this building, MES will need to add the additional space to accommodate for students and additional programs. The construction project will add approximately 4,000 square feet, accommodating around 100 more students.
“Since we can’t spend any more money on that building, we’re making changes at the elementary school. The board will then decide what to do with the East End property. The elementary is at capacity, so this will give us some needed space,” said Superintendent Steve Martin.
The plans will also include a canopy and more direct route between the school and the gym, giving added security during special programs and travel to and from physical education classes.
Paperwork and plans are still in discussion between the board of education, the Kentucky Department of Education and Sherman Carter Barnhart Architecture Firm.
The construction will be paid for through a bonding process and a utility tax which has been set aside by the board for several years.
“We’re hoping the interest rates don’t go up, like we’ve heard. We think that labor costs may go down, though. You know, just a little bit is a lot of money over a long term of paying for something,” said Martin.
It will have an estimated cost of $4 million, however that figure will include a new HVAC system, windows, locks and doors at MES, a security vestibule at MMS and new windows, locks and doors at MHS, as well.
“I hope this goes as smoothly as everything has gone at the high school. The kids and the staff at the high school have been just wonderful and they’ve dealt with that like nothing was ever going on and it was pretty hectic in there,” said Martin.
Completion of construction at MES is estimated for a year from the start date.
Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.