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By JULIE BALL HAMBRICK
Special to The Trimble Banner
At last week’s Trimble County School Board meeting, Phase 2 of the new school athletic fields officially began with the unanimous approval of a project architect.
Board members chose Louisville-based firm K. Norman Berry Associates to oversee the final phase of the project, which will include new football and track and field facilities. This is the first time the board has worked with Berry Associates, a firm with many high-profile projects to its credit, including the Frazier History Museum and Louisville Slugger Field.
The board members based their decision on the firm’s reputation rather than price. The board didn’t receive bids; the Kentucky Department of Education approves the cost of public school construction projects. Board member Jill Simmons said she was impressed by the feedback she received about Berry Associates’ creativity.
Due to economic tightening, Phase 2 may be split into two projects, extending work up to two years. “It’s important to know what our alternatives are,” said board member Scott Burrows. “We need to know how much we’re spending. Upcoming federal (spending) cuts could force us to whittle back what we can do.”
However, changing the construction dates could impact home game and meet schedules. The lengthier the project, the more cancelled events -- and the more potential for revenue loss.
According to Trimble County Schools Superintendent Marcia Haney Dunaway, the football team earns roughly $2,500 in ticket sales at every home game. If construction closes the existing football field for two seasons, the program could lose more than $20K in revenue.
Board member Joey Martin suggested a broader group – including coaches and the marching band director, as well as parents – should meet before making any further decisions about Phase 2 timing and economic solutions.
The next meeting of the Trimble County School Board is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 6 p.m., at the Administration Building, 68 Wentworth Ave.