Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - Updated: 2:08 AM
Trigg County graduating seniors will celebrate their commencement on the last student attendance day in the district.
The Trigg County Board of Education voted on Thursday to set this year's graduation ceremony for the final student attendance day, though board members were hesitant to set a specific date at the meeting. As of Monday, the final scheduled attendance day in Trigg County was May 17; however, that date could change. Trigg County Schools Superintendent Travis Hamby said traditionally, officials waited until April 1 to set a specific date and begin ordering graduation materials.
"This allows us to go ahead and start making those arrangements and plans," Hamby said. "If something were to change, we actually have one more meeting this month (so) we could come back and change it again.
"Ã¢ Â¦ Project Graduation has tentatively reserved the 17th (of May), if I understand correct," Hamby added. "That's tentative, too, but they need to finalize plans as well, so that's why we're trying to get in a pretty firm date with the understanding that you never know."
Weather accounts for the unknown variable in students' schedules, as board members said they were reluctant to pin a specific date in the event of upcoming snow without additional make-up days built into the calendar. While snowfall for the year seldom extends beyond February, Hamby cited a 2015 occurrence in which students missed a full week in mid-March due to snow.
As of Tuesday, no further make-up days were scheduled into the calendar. Students received a three-day mini-break beginning Thursday, which had been scheduled prior to snow forecasts for this week. Though students had no remaining make-up days in the calendar, Hamby said the district had still allotted for four more non-traditional instructional -- or "snowmazing" -- days, in the event of a significant weather event. Those days, which allow students to complete predetermined course materials online from home, must be approved by the Kentucky Department of Education to count toward the yearly total of instructional hours.
The district has thus far used one non-traditional instructional day this year. Director of Student Services and Personnel James Mangels said KDE would give final approval on any snowmazing days April 12.
"To date there hasn't been any district that has not been approved for their NTI days," Mangels said.
In addition to setting a time-frame on graduation, board members approved a $165,000 probable cost statement and additional construction documents for a new fire alarm system in Trigg County Primary and Intermediate schools.
Board members in February approved an emergency contract with Marcum Engineering to draw up specifications after it was discovered the system in place was failing.
The new system, which Marcum representative David Ury said project managers hoped to bid for construction April 2 pending KDE approval, will adapt to national standards in place as well as anticipated to come.
"We're still on budget," Ury said. "Ã¢ Â¦ One thing that will be somewhat different than maybe what has been seen in a conventional fire alarm system that we specified on this project: the international building code Ã¢ Â¦ has required what they call a emergency voice evacuation fire alarm system. That's become national standard now. What that is is it's basically your standard fire alarm system, but it's got a voice announcement feature built into it so that you can provide instructional information to the people to evacuate the building. One side of the building is on fire, you want all the occupants to move to the other side, you're able to do that. This system is monitored and you're insured that it'll work, even on a power outage."
Ury said the state had not required the voice announcement feature, but project engineers expected the state to adopt those standards upon next review.
"We're giving you a system that is going to have a 20-year life, even anticipating code changes, plus we've been able to do that within your budget," he said. "So we feel like we're giving you the best we can at this time, and anticipating changes to come."
Engineers hoped to receive bids in time to award construction contracts at the April 20 board of education meeting and begin construction by May 1. Estimated completion time for the project was July 7.
In other business, the board:
Ã¢ Â¢ Heard the first reading of changes to the district's policy on academic honor graduate requirements;
Ã¢ Â¢ approved final payment of $6,031.25 to ICI Mechanical, LLC for the band room HVAC enhancement project; and
Ã¢ Â¢ approved a request for Cadiz-Trigg County Tourist and Convention Commission to use Perdue Field and its surrounding amenities as public observation points and to host live music during the August solar eclipse.