Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 12, 2014

Moving on up

Eighth-graders at Verity Middle School take possession of the third floor

ASHLAND — Principal David Greene made a point of watching in the hallway two Fridays ago when eighth-graders got their first glimpse of the renovated Verity Middle School third floor.

“With the exception of a few in yearbook class none of the kids had been up there. I saw a lot of enthusiasm and excitement. The kids told me it looks like a college,” Greene said Tuesday.

The freshly painted walls, bright lighting and new, unscuffed floors all made a big impression on the students, who had chafed at being shuffled into temporary classrooms during the construction. “They had to make arrangements and sacrifice, and now they can reap the rewards of their sacrifices earlier this year,” he said.

Completion of the third floor marks a significant milestone in the renovation of Verity, which modernizes the aging school and prepares it for adding sixth grade.

With Verity using the team-teaching method, the completion means both eighth-grade teams are on the same floor. Each team has a science lab and associated classroom.

Also complete on the third floor are an orchestra room in the former gifted-talented room and a family and consumer science lab.

However, library books and furniture are stacked on the counters in that room because it is being used as a temporary library while the permanent one downstairs undergoes its renovation.

The gloss of the paint and the newness of the floor and ceiling tiles are only the most visible elements of the renovation. Technology upgrades put interactive smartboards, projectors, audio enhancers and microphones in each classroom.

Motion sensitive controls turn lights on when people enter rooms and off if no motion is detected for a span of time.

Some rooms have foldable walls that can be opened to accommodate larger groups, which reinforces the team-teaching concept.

The lab-classroom combinations save time and enhance efficiency, science teacher Diane Carper said. For instance, if her students are working on experiments involving plants, they can move from lab to classroom and back without having to stow their projects away.

An elective wing houses a Spanish classroom in addition to the orchestra and food lab.

Demolition started this week on the second floor, which when completed will be similar to the third and will house the two seventh-grade teams. Once the floor is gutted, workers will install electric and plumbing components, the ceiling tile grid and lights, patch and paint walls, then install ceiling and floor tiles.

The third-floor addition was completed on schedule but workers lost some time over the winter on the new gymnasium. Walls are up and the next step is installing the roof before finishing out the inside.

Completion target remains beginning of the 2014-15 school year, said Codell Construction site manager Taylor Coates, but that will involve making up for lost time.

Also ongoing is outside work on cafeteria and kitchen expansion; after school dismisses for the summer the new sections will be completed and tied in to the existing cafeteria and kitchen, which remain in use, Greene said.

The cafeteria enlargement is necessary because of the addition of sixth grade, as many as 250 students.

Parking areas also are being added, one of them at the 29th Street entrance of the school and another at the other side of the building facing Blackburn Avenue.

Once change yet to be made on the third floor is painting of the lockers. Currently blue, they will be recolored maroon in keeping with the school’s new identity.

The Ashland Board of Education in December voted to change the name to Ashland Middle School, and the change will be effective next school year.

The new gym will employ the new maroon, white and gray scheme.

The old gym will be remodeled to house the sixth grade and Greene said that final phase should be complete in time for the 2015-16 school year.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0723trailtown.jpg First lady recognizes Morehead Trail Town status

    Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear said Morehead’s achievement in finally reaching “Trail Town” certification exemplifies the strength and dedication of the small town community during her address Tuesday at the Rowan County Arts Center.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • McConnell co-sponsors bill to protect correctional officers

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to help protect correctional officers and staff at Federal Bureau of Prison (BOP) facilities.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723copshots1.JPG Focus on law enforcement

    Members of several local and regional law enforcement agencies hit the streets of downtown Ashland Tuesday armed with digital cameras and assignment sheets as they completed in-service photography instruction through the Department of Criminal Justice.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Obama admin. says health subsidies will continue

    A federal appeals court delivered a potentially serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, imperiling billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

    July 22, 2014

  • State’s longest trail system turns 35

    The Sheltowee Trace was officially dedicated as part of the National Recreation Trail system in 1979. After 35 years, the trail remains Kentucky’s longest distance trail, estimated at 307 miles.
     

    July 21, 2014

  • Pancake releases new album

    The top of the Sky Tower in downtown Ashland was booming Saturday night with music from Larry Pancake’s new album “Fair Weather Friend.”
     

    July 21, 2014

  • Telephone scammer fleeces man of $5,000

    A telephone scammer claimed another area victim when a Williams Avenue man paid $5,000 after the con artist told him he had won a sweepstakes but had to pay taxes on the prize money before collecting it, according to Ashland Police Department reports.
     

    July 21, 2014

  • Murder defendant pleads guilty on lesser charge, sentenced to 8 years

    One of four charged with murder in a 2008 double killing pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Monday just before his trial was to start.

    July 21, 2014

  • MIA Rush Marine to rest in Arlington

    Finding Dottie McCoy’s uncle after 71 years was the biggest part of the struggle.

    July 21, 2014

  • Morehead gets Trail Town status

    It has been two and a half years in the making and it happens today.
    Morehead will officially be designated a Kentucky Trail Town following Dawson Springs and Livingston.

    July 21, 2014