School Facilities Planning Committee holds first forum

Posted February 17, 2021 at 9:22 am

The first of at least a required three meetings/public forums by the Clinton County Local (facilities) Planning Committee was held last Tuesday evening at the former central office building conference room. Although several committee members attended in person, several others were also present virtually via teleconference.

The forums are being moderated by Tim Eaton, Kentucky School Plan Management Association facilitator for the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA).

Each school district facilities plan is required by KDE (Kentucky Department of Education) to be revised and updated every four years and a 20 member panel made up of school personnel and the general public is in charge of making any revisions to the local facilities plan.

Eaton noted that at least three public forums and meetings of that committee (more if necessary) was required, with at least 10 members having to be present to constitute a quorum. The school superintendent, who is on the committee, is a non-voting member.

A primary focus of the school facilities plan for the last few years has been discussion on the need for a new Clinton County High School, due to the age and condition of the existing facility.

A portion of the current high school facility was constructed in the early 1960s while the majority of the building was a mid 1970s addition.

The building has gone through a lot of costly repairs over the past few years.

The public forum was first on the agenda, with only two members from the general public in attendance, with one of those addressing the committee.

Eric Latham and his father, Gene Latham, a retired Clinton County school teacher, were on hand for the public forum portion. The Lathams own a farm adjacent to the Clinton Center, where school officials are looking at possibly expanding that building to include a new high school.

Eric Latham noted he had heard talk about modifications that were being planned at the Clinton Center location, further noting his family “was not interested” in selling a large amount of property to accommodate a new school.

He also said he wasn’t sure if the first forum was the right time to address the issue, but Eaton said it was a very appropriate time, also noting the plan, whatever the final outcome might be, would be years in the making.

Prior to the meeting and public forum beginning, Superintendent Dr. Tim Parson spoke with the Lathams about the process of the plan and during his remarks, Eric Latham said Parson’s comments had somewhat helped ease his mind about the process.

Eaton noted that the (current) plan would not change until the committee has taken action and the school board actually votes on it, further noting the process would also eventually call for a public hearing prior to any final actions being taken.

Following the public forum portion, Eaton presented the first of three phases of the plan the committee would be taking into consideration during a slide presentation of the district planning process.

Also, school board member Bobbie Stone was chosen as Chairman of the Local Planning Committee.

The next meeting of the Local (facilities) Planning Committee, including date and location will be announced and published at a later date. However, under KDE guidelines, all meetings, beginning with public forums, are to begin at 5:30 p.m. local prevailing time.