Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Middle School project nearing completion

J-E News Editor
With only eight weeks before the start of next school year, Webster County School officials and the Princeton Lumber Company are scrambling to make sure that Webster County Middle School will be ready in time for the August start of classes.

Interim Superintendent Pete Galloway, whose contract with the district will end on July 1, 2014, expects the middle school building to be available no later than the middle of July, saying that most of the items which will be moved from the existing elementary schools are already boxed up and waiting to be transported.
“Everything appears to be on schedule,” Galloway said. “The construction company is even working weekends now to make sure that they get everything done in time.”
Travis Equipment from Marshall county has been told that they can deliver new classroom furniture the second week of July. Some newer equipment left over from Slaughters Elementary schools is also ready to be delivered to it’s new home in Dixon.
The middle school renovation will include  $294,891 that is being spent to make sure that the students at WCMS will have up-to-date technology available in the classroom. That includes 54 new computers for the computer lab, 36 student classroom computers and 30 computers for teachers and office staff.
The district works under a five year refresh cycle with all of their computers, meaning that once a computer is five years old it is replaced with a newer model.
Ramsey explained that the district was able to fund the purchase of all new computers partially thanks to grants and donations that they have received in the past. Most recently he said that Anthony Hayes and Kentucky Utilities’ Morganfield Office had donated 60 two year old computers, valued at $30,000, to the school.
“We haven’t had to pay to refresh our computers the last few years,” Ramsey said. “That has been really helpful.”
Although currently Webster County does not have a 1:1 or Bring Your Own Device program in the classroom, Assistant Superintendent and Technology Director Riley Ramsey said the ground work for that is being lain with this project.
“The tech is in place so that if the district chooses to go 1:1, the school is ready,” said Ramsey. “All of that is built in.”
As part of that plan, the district has already added a network control filter known as Lightspeed. It allows a single computer in the board office to monitor every device logged into the network at any of the district’s schools, the board office or the bus garage.
The biggest question the district has faced is whether or not the cafeteria located in the Webster County Annex will be completed by the start of school. Construction work on that facility was held up due to the late completion of the school year and student’s testing schedules. 
The Annex currently serves both Webster County High School and Dixon Elementary. The addition of WCMS students will bring between 200 and 300 additional students through the cafeteria on a daily basis.
“I just talked to Buzz Taylor, the general contractor, and he feels very good about it,” Galloway said. “He feels very good about how work is progressing, and weather should not affect them.”
It had been discussed in the past that if the cafeteria was not ready, students on the Dixon campus could be served sack lunches for a few days while work was completed. At this point officials seem positive that this will not be necessary.

No comments:

Post a Comment