HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (12/30/11)—On December 8th, 2011, the Hopkins County Board of Education (HCBOE) publicly announced that construction on the new Career and Technology Center was suspended due to damage caused by settlement. Though additional information has been reported in regard to the approximately $9 million project, officials involved have either declined further comment on the issue or have failed to respond to inquiries from SurfKY News media.
Following an announcement that the HCBOE had contracted a Nashville-based consulting/engineering firm known as Terracon for further analysis of the settlement and damage issues this week, SurfKY News contacted the company’s headquarters and requested an update on the situation. However, employees of Terracon declined to make any comment on the matter at this time.
As was announced by the school district’s Director of Facilities and Safety Steve Gilliam during a board meeting on December 19th, Terracon would be responsible for surveying work and extensive drilling at the site to determine the source and extent of the settlement issue, as well as the ensuing damages. At the time, Gilliam said that all equipment had been removed from the area and that security efforts had been increased through increased patrols courtesy of the Kentucky State Police and Hopkins County Sheriff’s Department.
In response to a concerned citizen who cited mine subsidence as the reasoning for the issue, Gilliam said that 96 expansion joints, which allow for building movement and expansion, were in place throughout the new structure. Gilliam noted that each of the joints were being analyzed via crack monitors (situated both at the top and bottom of each joint) and assured SurfKY News that the building was insured for both ground movement and subsidence.
Gilliam went on to note that the results from the survey would be in no later than February 2012 and that the project may still be completed by April 2012.
However, little to no new information has been released since last week’s meeting.
With this in mind, SurfKY News attempted to contact members of the HCBOE and school district for an update on these issues. In addition, SurfKY News also sought permission to visit the off-limits structure in order to take photos of the aforementioned damages. However, as of this report, SurfKY News has yet to receive a response.
In turning to another source of information, SurfKY News spoke with members of the Evansville, IN based company responsible for the construction of the building— Peyronnin Construction Company. While SurfKY News was able to leave a message for the project manager, others with the business immediately declined to comment on the subject. At this time, SurfKY News has yet to hear from the project manager overseeing the Career and Technology Center’s construction.
SurfKY News is aware of rumors circulating through the community in relation to this matter, but has yet to confirm anything new.
SurfKY News hopes alongside many community members that the damages/settlement issues are not extensive and that the Career and Technology Center project can move forward with little interruption or additional costs. When, and if, properly completed, the Career and Technology Center is expected to provide a valuable service to both our community’s youth and our region's economic growth.
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