Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


August 22, 2013

New at Fairivew

Project improves appearance and will reduce energy costs

ASHLAND — When Fairview High School students returned to school earlier this month, they found a building that is looking better than it has in many years. And with voter approval of a 3 percent utility tax in February, students and residents of the small independent district in the unincorporated community of Westwood can expect more improvements to the high school and other district facilities in the near future.

The improvements are long overdue. Not only have they improved the appearance of the high school, but they will save the school district thousands of dollars a year in energy costs. In fact, a case could be made that the new windows at the high school will pay for themselves in a short period simply by reducing the cost of heating and cooling the school.

Work is 95 percent complete on a $3 million high school renovation project that began in December before the approval of the utility tax. The work includes new energy-efficient, weather-tight windows,  new heating and air conditioning, fresh paint in hallways and cafeteria and new floor tiles in halls, cafeteria and library.

The cafeteria and kitchen are air conditioned for the first time, making lunchtime more comfortable for students, Fairview High Principal Garry McPeek said. There was enough money in the budget for new cafeteria tables.

The new air conditioning system eliminated noisy window units throughout the building, McPeek added. Teachers often had to turn the air conditioners off to hear and be heard in the classroom.

Until recently, the Fairview High School English and speech teacher Jim Maggard considered duct tape and plastic ties as necessary to  close his classroom windows because the aging frames were loose and wouldn’t seal. Mopping up puddles where rain forced its way through was a commonplace chore.

Not only is the new heating system significantly more efficient, it warms the building more evenly, McPeek said. Using the previous system sometimes forced him to use his office air conditioner during the cold months to ensure sufficient heat at the other end of the building.

As with nearly all school renovation projects, students, treachers and administrators had to endure some inconveniences while the work was taking place. Some classes met in the Renfroe building across the street, and when the 2012-13 school year ended in May, only about five classrooms remained open in the main building. Other classes met in the library and multipurpose rooms.

School board members have said they will use money from the new utility tax to fund further improvements at the high school, including the addition of middle-school classrooms and a stage for the gymnasium.

Gaining approval of the tax was not easy. District voters rather soundly defeated the ax at least three times before surprising many by voting for the tax in February. The perseverance of the school board is factor in that. Previously, Fairview board members kept approving the utility tax and Fairview district residents kept successfully petitioning to put the levy on the ballot.

That’s what the school board members and residents of the district did earlier this year, but th is time voters approved the tax. In so doing they were investing in the future of the small school district and the students who go there. We predict it will turn out to be one of the wisest investments they ever made.  

Text Only
  • By a thread

    It took some last-minute political maneuvering by State Rep. Tanya Pullin, D-South Shore and some skilled wheeling and dealing to prevent a bill important to AK Steel in Ashland from ending up on the scrapheap of the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly.

    April 23, 2014

  • Along the river

    Here’s hoping the weather will be as close to perfect as possible on the evening of May 30, as members of the Paul G. Blazer High School class of 2014 gather on the banks of Ohio River for the school’s first graduation on the river that has helped fuel this community’s economy since the time when it was known as known as Poage’s Landing.

    April 22, 2014

  • Good opportunity

    Morehead State University is using a highly successful program for outstanding high school juniors and seniors at Western Kentucky University to launch a similar program beginning in the fall of 2015 on the MSU campus.

    April 20, 2014

  • What's next?

    While virtually all cities in northeastern Kentucky provide their residents with some utility services — water and sewer, mainly, and sometimes natural gas — to the best of our knowledge, Olive Hill is the only town in the FIVCO‚Äąregion with its own electrical company.

    April 13, 2014

  • 'Waited too long'

    Lt. Garlin Murl Conner left the U.S. Army as the second-most decorated soldier during World War II, earning four Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, seven Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during 28 straight months in combat.

    April 12, 2014

  • Enact HB 3

    The National Rx Drug Abuse Summit is under way hundreds of miles from eastern Kentucky in Orlando, Fla., but the three-day conference which runs through Thursday, was organized by Operation UNITE, the eastern Kentucky anti-drug group that knows all too well the devastating impact the prescription drug epidemic continues to have on this region.

    April 11, 2014

  • State officials cease efforts to stop advance of ash borer

    Kentucky’s war against the tiny emerald ash borer responsible for already killing more than 25 million ash trees in the eastern United States has ended in surrender — by state officials, not the tiny insect.

    April 8, 2014

  • Demise of apparel industry in Kentucky continues

    The steady demise of the once thriving clothing industry in small Kentucky towns continues with the latest factory to announce it is shutting down being one of the largest: Fruit of the Loom has announced it is closing its last remaining plant in Jamestown, a move that eventually will see the elimination of more than 600 jobs in the small town near Lake Cumberland.

    April 7, 2014

  • None on ballot

    The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly considered an unusually high number of proposed amendments to the Kentucky Constitution on such issues as casino gambling, the restoration of voting rights for convicted felons and the elimination of state and local elected offices.

    April 4, 2014

  • In Your View

    Letters to the editor

    April 3, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
SEC Zone