By PJ Martin
The April meeting agenda for the Metcalfe County Board of Education included two action items:
5D. Consider Approve BG1 Expansion Multi-Purpose Center at MCHS.
5E. Consider Approve BG1 To Construct Athletic Complex at MCHS.
What is a BG1? A BG1 is an application required per the Kentucky Constitution section 162.060. It requires a copy of all plans and specifications of new public school buildings or alterations to existing buildings under consideration by the Board of Education to be submitted and approved by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).
BG1 applications are required for any project that will use specific types of funds namely Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK), Facility Support Program of Kentucky (FSPK), School Facilities Construction Commission (SFCC), or other building funds per KRS 160.476.
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds were received through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act (ARPA ESSER III) and CARES Act as part of the Education Stabilization Fund to deal with the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The ARPA ESSER III funds must be used before 2026; however, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplement Appropriations (CRRSA ESSER II) funds must be used before September 30, 2023.
The application is required for the construction of a new building, an addition, or the alteration of an existing building by a design professional per KRS 322.360. It also applies to a proposed energy-saving contract (GESC) per KRS 45A.352.
Absolutely no work can be performed without the approval from KDE except for emergency projects and those fall under KRS 702 KAR 4: 160 specifications.
Keep in mind, the school’s current athletic facility arrangement is a lease with the City of Edmonton for the use of the Edmonton Memorial Park for $37,500 per year. That is money used by the city to maintain the park.
Having heard no earlier mention of consideration or plans to construct or alter buildings, The Herald-News reached out to the Metcalfe County Board of Education for clarification and received the following response from Superintendent Josh Hurt.
“Metcalfe County Schools continually looks for ways to improve the student experience by enhancing its facilities so as to offer the best we can to our community. At the last Metcalfe County Board of Education meeting, the Board passed two BG-1s (building documents that allow the Board to explore and execute building options). One of those is to use ESSER funds, which are federal dollars, to expand the current softball/multipurpose building on the school grounds. The building is currently used by softball, shooting sports, middle school football, and the 21st Century after-school program among others.
The second BG-1 is to explore the opportunity to enhance current facilities and possibly add facilities. Included in the plan is the expansion of the front middle/high school parking lot. This expansion will allow student parking to be moved to the front in an effort to streamline entry points and vastly enhance student and staff safety. (One entry point is safer than multiple). It includes renovation to the current middle school baseball field (Ralph Reece Field). The idea will be to raise the field and prevent it from being so easily flooded. It also includes possible new football, tennis, and track facilities. If these come to fruition, they would be located behind the current middle/high school building.
BG-1s are a necessary step to begin the process. They are not definitive nor binding, and they carry flexibility. The school system will continue to review its current athletic facilities arrangement as it plans for the future.”
Keep reading the Herald-News for further updates.