The Frankfort Independent Schools Board of Education unanimously approved the Local Planning Commission’s District Facility Plan at Monday evening’s meeting.

Robert Driskell, chair of the LPC, said the district held a public hearing April 10 on the plan, which highlights $20.6 million in renovation needs at the two FIS schools, but no one showed up.

“We followed everything by the book,” he said. “I had the hearing, read the report and recorded it.”

With board approval, the plan will now be forwarded to the Kentucky Department of Education.

Estimates for work on the F.D. Wilkinson Gymnasium, which hasn’t been renovated since 1953, are a little more than $7 million, with repairs needed on the foundation and superstructure; a new HVAC unit with controls; bleachers; and an electrical system for lighting and branch wiring.

About $2.1 million in improvements — including work on exterior walls, windows, rainwater drainage, new HVAC pumps and air distribution lines for hearing and cooling — is needed at Second Street School, with similar projects necessary at the high school.

The plan also calls for $422,500 to fund state-of-the-art updated active boards — wireless tablet sceens connected to student-used tablets — in all classrooms; $622,151 for a new 2,400-square-foot bus garage; a new storage facility for $351,556; and renovations to central office at $1.5 million.

“The plan is very solid and we feel it is a reflection of what needs to happen,” Superintendent Houston Barber told the board, saying the improvements would take place over time as funding allows.

The board also received an update from Barber on GEAR UP Kentucky, a seven-year $24.5 million federal grant program that is split among 12 districts to research, identify and test strategies for reproducing a sustainable college-going culture.

Barber said the program, which is valued at $2 million-$3 million in investments on the front end, is focused on building support for students trying to find their passions.

“They want to know everything we are doing so they can fit their program around us,” he explained, adding the program also provides $2,500 per year for professional development. “That’s huge and it adds up over seven years.”

Jina Greathouse, board chair, agreed.

“You always hear the buzzword ‘transformation’ and this program will be transformational for our district and our kids,” she said.

In other business, the FIS board:

  • Approved a Memorandum of Agreement for visually-impaired preschool services.
  • Recognized the 25 Frankfort High School students who participated in Kentucky United Nations Assembly (KUNA). Those students are Claire Irish; Claire Moore; Dorothy Hanson; Isabella Johnson; Yani Jackson; Jade Payne; Kaylie Boone; Kennadie Pritchett; Leah Rome; Katelyn Judd; Mia Smith Hiles; Gabe Langley-Boaventura ; Will Creech; Jack Lynch; Merritt Shaw; Henry Higbee; Luci Allen; Ben Rome; Matthew Mueller; Dan McDonald; Bridges Hardin; Allex Pritchett; Kaleb VanAtter; Ethan Stigers; and Ethan Carpenter.

The next FIS board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 29 at Second Street School.

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