Development of Barren County’s Trojan Academy came one step closer to becoming a reality Thursday night.

The Barren County Board of Education awarded a bid to RBS Design Group of Owensboro to serve as architect for the project, and to hire Venture Contracting, Inc. of Glasgow to act as construction manager.

The board advertised for architectural services twice and RBS Design Group was the only company that expressed an interest in the project.

“We enjoyed a very good working relationship with them over the last several years, and my recommendation to the board is that we employ them for the architectural services for the new eighth and ninth grade center and the new bus garage,” said Dr. Jerry Ralston, superintendent.

Ralston also recommended the board hire Venture Contracting, Inc. to serve as construction manager, because VCI “has provided in my opinion quality service and quality management of construction for the Barren County Board over the last several years.”

School officials are hoping Trojan Academy will ease overcrowding at Barren County Middle and High schools.

“Our board has recently amended the district facility plan to include the Trojan Academy in it and according to the numbers I received today, Barren County Middle School currently has 688 students. The school was built for 550,” Ralston said. “The first day of school last year, at our middle school, we had 602 students. When school ended we had 620 and we were projecting near 650. Now we have 688, so the need to address some of that enrollment issue is coming fast upon us.”

Ralston went on to point out enrollment at Barren County High School on the first day of school was 1,135.

“We were projected to be a little less than what we had last year, so first day of school, quite honestly, I was really disappointed to learn we had 1,135 students,” he said. “As of today, before the day started, we had 1,223 students. I don’t know what the issue is, but students are continuing to enroll at Barren County High School and I think that says something about our high school. So, based on that we have record enrollment at Barren County Middle School. We have record enrollment at Barren County High School. We have record enrollment in the district surpassing 4,200 students for the first time in our history. So, I think it’s pretty obvious to our board that the concept of a Trojan Academy would address our record growth at both of the schools.”

The new facility will be built on Barren County High School’s campus between the high school and the Barren County Vocational School where the school district’s bus garage is now located.

It will accommodate all freshmen and provide classroom space for some of the school district’s eighth-grade students.

“I believe the idea is to make sure every eighth grader would have a class in the new Trojan Academy,” Ralston said.

The construction schedule calls for the project to be completed by the start of the fall semester in 2007.

In addition to hiring an architect and construction manager for Trojan Academy, the board also voted to hire RBS Design Group to serve as architect for the construction of the district’s new bus garage.

Since Trojan Academy will be built where the district’s bus garage is now located, a new bus garage will be constructed but school officials are not sure exactly where. The district owns 90 acres at the corner of Ky. 90 West and Harry King Road. It is possible the new bus garage will be built there, if not, the district will have to purchase additional land for the project.

“Because the bus garage is less than $1 million we are not recommending a construction manager for that project and our architect would manage that project,” Ralston said.

In other business, the board voted to:

• approve a change order for Eastern Elementary in order to install a one hour fire rated ceiling in a storage room at a cost of $1,950;

• award a $23,700 bid to Gunter Roofing of Scottsville for partial roof replacement at Austin-Tracy Elementary;

• adopt a resolution to purchase seven new buses;

• approve fund-raisers for 2005-06 school year;

• approve non-resident contracts for 2005-06 school year;

• approve ALC contracts for 2005-06 school year;

• approve principal mentorship program;

• approve Little League coordinator job description;

• review strategic plan update;

• approve out of state/overnight travel for various school groups;

• award Henning Scholarships to Erin Turner, Jennifer Geralds and Jessica Furlong;

• present the Classified Employee of the Month Award to Debby Browning, who works at Barren County Middle School;

• present the Certified Employee of the Month Award to Barry Perkins, who works at Temple Hill Elementary; and

• approve monthly financial report, bills, salaries, and accounts.

Contact Gina Kinslow by emailing


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