HCS approves building plan, architect for career center

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Estimated cost more than $16 million

By Kelly Cantrall

Hardin County Schools is moving forward quickly with its new college and career center.

The HCS board approved several aspects of its newly proposed center Tuesday, including the first set of construction documents for the building and an outline for the principal position.

The new building, which will be on University Drive next to Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, will have a capacity of 900 students, according to construction documents. Program space is projected to be 49,950 square feet.

The estimated cost is $16.6 million, according to the documents.

The board also approved architectural firm Sherman Carter Barnhart PSC to design the building. The district has worked extensively with the firm and Superintendent Nannette Johnston said the board particularly was interested in the firm’s past work on other career centers.

Sherman Carter Barnhart designed Elkhorn Crossing School, a career center in the Scott County school district, which Johnston and other administrators toured.

According to the decision paper submitted to the board, 12 other firms expressed interest or made a request or proposal for the project.

The board also approved the job description for a principal, which Johnston expected to be posted today. The basic function is listed as management and supervision of personnel, programs and curriculum at the center.

The goal is for the principal to begin work July 1. Salary for the position will be determined later.

The college career center is being formed through a partnership between HCS, Western Kentucky University and ECTC. The two postsecondary institutions will enable students to earn college credit at the school. Students will also be able to earn certifications in six career pathways through the district.

WKU is deeding the land to HCS. It previously was owned by the Central Kentucky Community Foundation, which played a role in forming the ECCC partnership.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.