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Hancock County Board of Education buys land to extend middle school

The Hancock County Board of Education monthly meeting was last Thursday, October 27 at 5:30 p.m. and the details are as follows.

   Land for eventual construction of new HCMS

When the Board met with the Hancock County Local Planning Committee (made up of members of the community, members of the schools’ staff and parents) to revise the new HCMS facility plan, they found an opportunity to purchase land next to the existing middle school. They’ll be purchasing the additional 18 acres from the owner, Brian Jackson, for $285,000.

With the 22 acres they already own, this will enlarge the campus to 40 acres total and allow for plenty of room for the new HCMS when its construction begins. And once completed, the old middle school will then become the new Hancock County Board of Education.

The second nickel that was passed is adding up and is designated for building the new school, however construction costs have been rising every year as well. “We’re going to probably have to have around $40 million in bonding to build a school. Right now, we have around $26 million. The nickel that was passed by the community – that is making it to where it’s building up faster but it’s still going to be quite a few more years before we get enough to build it,” Superintendent Robby Asberry said.

New Generator

The Board approved the purchase of a new generator that will be placed outside of Hancock County High School and have the capacity to keep many of the necessities running in the whole district in the event of a power outage.

“Last year we ended up having to cancel school for 2 days because the power went off,” Asberry said. “The generator came on and it got too hot in the electrical rooms and then the sprinklers went off and it messed up all the electrical in the mechanical room, so then we had to cancel school for 2 days.”

The new generator will be hooked up to a gas line and placed on the outside of the high school instead of in the mechanical room in order to avoid what happened before, he said.

The price is $69,000 and Asberry said the cost is high because it is a massive generator that will have the capacity to keep the entire district up and running with internet, phones, coolers, freezers, safety electronics and more during power outages.

GN Excavating &Trucking Donates for New Track & Football Field

Gary Nugent, owner of GN Excavating & Trucking Corporation, will be donating $480,000 – the total amount for the new track and new artificial turf football field on HCHS/HCMS campus.

“It was two different prices and he took both of them,” Asberry said. “He’s going to donate that amount of money for us to do those two projects. We are going to name the track and the new artificial turf football field: GN Excavating Hornet Track and GN Excavating Stadium.”

SRO Vehicles Purchased

“We purchased the School Resource Officer (SRO) vehicles and we’re going to be leasing them to the Sheriff’s Department so that the SROs will have those new vehicles that they can use,” Asberry said.

Improvements to Baseball & Softball Fields

The baseball and softball fields will be getting a new irrigation sprinkler system and the infield will be laser-graded.

Houchens Lease

The approval of the Houchens lease is not yet finalized, Asberry said. Mike Patel may be purchasing the Houchens Crossroads at the Lewisport campus. “We own that whole building and we lease to Houchens. There will be someone coming in and buying that and we’ll have a new lease. I think they will be keeping the lease the way it is now.”

By Jennifer Wimmer


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