Joe P. Asher
The Appalachian ChalleNGe Academy has missed its target opening date.
Originally scheduled for opening on July 8, the academy, which will be housed in the old Hall High School building, has yet to welcome any incoming cadets.
According to Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop, the academy’s opening date has been rescheduled as the result of delays relating to the installation of the building’s sprinkler system.
“They could not get it (the sprinkler system) tested and approved on time,” said Grieshop
Grieshop acknowledged there should be no problems with the academy’s first class starting on the revised opening date.
“To be on the safe side, we just put things off two weeks to make sure we could be in good shape,” said Grieshop.
The rescheduled opening will only affect cadets in the first class. Future cadets will not see any difference in scheduling.
Appalachian ChalleNGe Academy Assistant Director Josh Coldiron explained “there’s a four-week window in between each cycle. Our second cycle is not affected at all.”
Appalachian ChallaNGe Academy Director Croley Forester said delaying the opening was to insure the safety of the program’s participants.
“Everything we do out here is for the safety and security of the cadets that are coming in. We just didn’t feel like it was ready at the time, so we just put it off two weeks,” said Forester. “We did it just to insure the safety and security of the kids,” said Forester.
According to Forester, the rescheduled opening has created an opportunity for more cadets to be in the first class.
“It allows us to get three more cadets in who would not have been 16 by our original starting date,” said Forester. “We had three that we had to put off, but now we can allow them to be in because they will be of age before the class actually starts.”
Forester explained that will bring the first class to about 85 cadets.
“Not as many as we wanted, but that’s a pretty good out of the box starting number,” said Forester.
The academy’s new opening date is set for July 22.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com