County school board selects chairman, HVAC delay

Published 3:23 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

The Harlan County School Board discussed multiple areas of concern during the panel’s regularly scheduled meeting for January, including selecting a board chair for the new term, the name of a middle school baseball team, and an upcoming field house project.

Early in the meeting, Superintendent Brent Roark asked the board for Harlan County Board of Education Chairman nominations. The previous chairman Gary Farmer received a nomination.

There were no additional nominations, with the board approving Farmer as Harlan County School Board Chairman for 2023.

The board additionally approved board member Wallace Napier as Vice Chairman.

Roark addressed a possible delay on an upcoming HVAC project.

“I just want to let you all know the lead time on the rooftop units we’re using have been stretched further out,” Roark said. “We’re not going to have the major components until at least June, and in a lot of cases August…it’s going to push us back to the start of school and into the Fall.”

According to Roark, the issue is acquiring some of the system components.

“They’ve already ordered everything, it’s been ordered for months, it’s not coming through,” Roark said. “In a perfect world, everything gets sped up, and we get the stuff in May or June, and they get started. Realistically, that’s probably not going to happen.”

The name of the Harlan County Middle School Baseball team was also on the agenda.

“I talked to coach Bailey; he’d like to change the name of the team to the Black Bears,” Roark said.

After a brief discussion, the board voted to change the name of the Harlan County Middle School baseball team from the Patriots to the Black Bears.

The board also approved proceeding with a Harlan County High School Field House project and utilizing a combination of general fund cash and bonds to fund the project.

In other board activity:

The board approved a contract with Lifetouch for school pictures for the 20232-2024 school year;
The board set the regular meeting schedule for the remainder of the year for the fourth Tuesday of each month except for December. December’s meeting will be on the third Tuesday of the month due to the Christmas holiday. All meetings will begin at 6 p.m.;
The board discussed the district’s budget for 2024, with no action taken.