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Murray Independent Schools & Calloway County Schools Hire RBS Design Group

From the Murray Ledger & Times:

County Schools approve RBS Design Group

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Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014 7:00 am
County Schools approve RBS Design Group AUSTIN RAMSEY • Staff Writer

Thursday was a rare night when both Calloway and Murray Independent school boards had a similar agenda.

The Calloway County School Board approved RBS Design Group Architecture only an hour before the Murray Independent School Board did the same.

The joint approval gives RBS the go-ahead to begin the design of a vocational school that will replace the Area Technology Center currently located at Murray High School. The new center is slated to be built at the corner of KY 94 West and Robertson Road.

Calloway County Superintendent Kennith Bargo said the center has been more than five years in the making. It comes as part of an agreement after an attendance dispute between the two school systems. Bargo said, in the end, students from both schools will benefit from the new build. Now that the architect has been jointly approved, Bargo said, the company can talk to both schools regarding proposed curriculum, research state education building guidelines and develop proposal designs.

“The current vocational school is aging,” he said. “It can’t offer everything that we want to offer at this point in time. We know that we’re going to have some duplication, but we want to be able to expand our technology and offer our kids more of a challenge that will prepare them for careers they’re wanting to get into.”

The Calloway County board, which met at North Elementary School and recognized students for distinguished scores on statewide testing, also made some revisions to the school calendar after the county schools were rocked by multiple weeks of harsh winter weather. Graduation is tentatively set for June 2, according to Director of Pupil Personnel Fred Ashby. But he said the school district has booked the CFSB Center at Murray State University – where graduation is held – for the entire first week of June, in anticipation, he said for more dangerous winter weather.

“This year has been unusual,” he told the board Thursday. “There’s no denying that. We have missed 10 days so far.”

Those 10 days are accounted for in additional school time, but Ashby said the district has a plan to add three staff development days and two more school days if the district were to miss up to five more days of school.

The board also approved a tentative schedule for the 2014-15 school year.

Bargo also addressed the board and public regarding statewide school funding. He said that over the past decade, funding into special school programs or out of individualized budgets have dropped. He showed a PowerPoint presentation with graphs that showed significant funding drops from Support Education Excellence in Kentucky, Safe Schools, Teacher Quality and technology funds.

With several items before the state legislature regarding restoring old education funds, Bargo asked the public to contact legislators regarding those bills.

“We can’t expand our services without the necessary funding,” Bargo said.

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