School board tours high school renovations

Jonathan Wright - [email protected]
FCHS Principal Stephanie Emmons speaks to the crowd about the renovations made to the school’s cafeteria -

FLEMINGSBURG — Fleming County Board of Education met Thursday for a special meeting to tour the high school and view results of the renovations made to the facilities.

With the construction nearly finished, the board was eager to view the nearly complete school and what students will be greeted with once classes are in session.

“What we try to do every year, once we started the construction, we always try to have a called board meeting right before students came back so board members could look before parents got here, and they could just see what their vision was when they approved the plan,” Superintendent Brian Creasman said.

During the meeting, Chief Academic Officer Michelle Hunt reported to the board on the meeting held Thursday morning between members of the school district and families of children who are home-schooled in order to offer its Virtual Academy Program. According to Hunt, the meeting was a huge success.

“It, surprisingly, went better than expected,” she said. “We had a fairly large crowd this morning, a lot of students we hadn’t originally made contact with that we weren’t expecting to come.”

Among the district officials who attended the meet and greet, along with Hunt, was Assistant Superintendent Leisa Eldridge, FCHS Principal Stephanie Emmons, Director of Special Education and Preschool Melissa James and Creasman, who were on hand to answer any question brought up by the parents.

“Some of the questions were about where they’re housed under Fleming County Schools, if they were eligible to participate in some extracurricular activities, which they are,” Hunt said. “Questions of teacher point of contact, will they have access to tutoring, what the district has to offer them, any types of services we need to offer them, if they were special needs, all of that was addressed in this meeting.”

Currently, 31 students have enrolled either virtually or are returning to school itself, Hunt said. Several meetings have also been scheduled for next week to converse with other families.

“When we started, we had a little over 100 students,” Hunt said, referring to students undergoing homeschooling. “Our goal is to try to get it to half this year, and then continue to help the program grow.”

In other business, the board approved the appointment of newly hired Director of Business and Finance Andy Plank to board treasurer for the remainder of 2018.

Before adjourning the meeting, the board, led by Emmons, took a tour of FCHS to showcase the progress of the renovation project on the building. Improvements made to the math hallway to reduce noises and distractions, new restrooms installed in the second floor, and the drastic changes to the school’s gymnasium were among the noticeable changes to the school.

The crown jewel of the renovations, according to Creasman, is definitely the school’s cafeteria.

“The original plan did not look like this,” Creasman said, “so we were designing it as we go. As we got more money, we added on.”

Creasman said the idea of renovating the cafeteria was to make it more popular with students. The space now includes charging stations for electronic devices, the ability of ordering lunch either from the menu or a la carte, and will soon feature an outdoor eating area.

“People forget that the reason we got the original $5 million was because of the cafeteria,” Creasman said, “because it was not up to par, and it would not pass inspection. Mike Denham, the former representative here, helped us go and get an additional $10 million to add onto other areas, but this is really what got the $5 million — our cafeteria.”

Construction on FCHS in its entirety is expected to be completed sometime in December, according to Creasman.

FCHS Principal Stephanie Emmons speaks to the crowd about the renovations made to the school’s cafeteria Principal Stephanie Emmons speaks to the crowd about the renovations made to the school’s cafeteria

Jonathan Wright

[email protected]