LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Breckinridge County Schools received an offer of nearly $15 million in federal stimulus money to renovate its aging middle school building.
The Kentucky School Facilities Construction Commission approved $127 million in projects for Breckinridge County Schools and 12 other Kentucky school systems Wednesday through the American Rescue Plan Act, Gov. Andy Beshear’s office announced.
“This funding gives us a unique opportunity to renovate and replace some of our schools, making them a safer and better learning environment for our children and our educators,” Beshear said in a statement. “This will inject tens of millions of dollars into our schools as we work to build a better Kentucky for people in every corner of the commonwealth.”
Allocations awarded by the commission must be approved by Education Commissioner Jason Glass before they go to local school boards for consideration, according to a news release.
The $14.7 million award for Breckinridge County will go far in renovating Breckinridge County Middle School, a building constructed in the 1960s that once housed the district’s high school, Superintendent Nick Carter said in a phone interview.
The Breckinridge County Board of Education must vote to accept the funding before planning and construction can begin, he said, adding that the middle school was identified for needed renovations by the Kentucky Facilities Inventory and Classification System operated by the state education department.
Carter cited issues with the school’s plumbing, roof, restrooms, spacing and cafeteria that need repair, and he noted that the nearly $15 million windfall will help the school improve its security infrastructure.
"It’s a 1960s building," Carter said. "It needs a lot of work done to it, and we wouldn't have the bonding to do that work given that our district had to do so much to upgrade other facilities over the years.
"It's a blessing, and I’m just thrilled for our kids."
The $14.7 million awarded to Breckinridge County Schools is the largest sum approved Wednesday by the commission. Other districts with projects approved by the panel are in Bath, Boyd, Carter, Cumberland, Floyd, Grant, Hart, Jackson, Martin and Pendleton counties and the cities of Bellevue and Mayfield.
Districts that accept funding can expect their allocations this summer, depending on the federal treasury’s authorization, the news release says.
“These funds are going to make a tremendous difference in the lives of our kids,” Chelsey Couch, executive director of the Kentucky School Construction Facilities Commission, said in a statement. “From safety to technology, these changes are going to give Kentucky kids the educational leg-up they deserve.”
The $127 million in funding for school renovation projects announced Wednesday is part of a bipartisan agreement to spend $1.3 billion in federal aid on infrastructure between Beshear and lawmakers during this year’s legislative session.
The governor announced Tuesday that local utilities could apply for part of $250 million for water and sewer improvement projects as part of the Better Kentucky Plan.
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