Architect David Samokar said work was progressing well at the Rosspoint site.
“The building is starting to take shape,” he said. “We had a few issues with strength in concrete, and those areas have been torn out and redone. It's starting to look like a building now.”
After an explanation by Samokar, board members approved a pay request from Robert Clear Coal Company for $181,686 and a change order of $297,000 from D.W. Wilburn.
Samokar noted that the Robert Clear Coal Company hadn't been paid since November.
“That will leave them a remaining balance of about $141,000,” Samokar said.
Samokar said Robert Clear had failed to complete earth work at the school “that's in the way of the current building contractor.”
“I've made them aware of it, but they did not make any corrective action and pulled their equipment off site,” he said. “We've been trying since then to get them back on site to make the corrective actions. They've repeatedly failed to do so.”
Samokar said the cost of completing the work would be deducted from the money still owed Robert Clear Coal Company.
“We'll end up having to back-charge the earth work contractor for any additional expenses to the building contractor,” he said.
Superintendent Tim Saylor updated the board on Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS) scores released Wednesday, noting that six of the district's 11 schools met or exceeded state goals with five progressing.
“This district is on track for the goal of 100 by 2014,” he said. “We're moving in the right direction. There are some very bright spots throughout our district, and of course there is always concerns.
“We continuously analyze our scores throughout the school year to determine our weaknesses and strategy for each school.”
Board member Arlene Brown congratulated Evarts High School for moving from last to first among high schools in the county district in only one year. She noted that Evarts High School ranked first in seven of nine areas on the high school level.
“I'm very proud of them. It was a job well done,” Brown said.
Wallins Elementary School had the top score in the county on the elementary and middle schools levels in the county.
Saylor said top scores in subjects included Black Mountain Elementary School in science, Cawood Elementary School in reading and science and Wallins in reading and science, with all scoring over 100.
“I feel very good about our progress, our teachers, principals and our central office staff,” Saylor said. “It's very hard work. There is a lot of pressure out there to succeed.”
In other business:
-- The board set an Oct. 5 date for a hearing on property tax rates. Assistant superintendent Mike Howard said the district had anticipated $3.1 million in tax money last year but received only $2.8 million because the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet had overestimated the amount of money the district would receive on unmined coal.
Howard said a rate of 40.7, up from 36.7 last year, would raise approximately $3.3 million in revenue.
-- The board set property tax rate on motor vehicles and watercraft at 33.60 center per $100 of assessed value.
-- Board members voted 4-1 to change spring break from late March to April 2-6.
-- The board tabled discussion on maps and petitions from the Concerned Citizens for a Better and Equal Education, a group that hopes to have the Clover Fork area from Harlan to the Virginia line removed from the county district and annexed into the Harlan Independent School District. Step two, according to a member of the group, is to annex the Tri-City area.
-- Board member Brenda Henson asked about a $20 parking fee being charged at Cawood High School.
Saylor said he would check into the matter.