Gemmill pleased with progress at Pembroke Elementary


As reported by Kentucky New Era on July 23, 2014

Christian County Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ann Gemmill and other school officials were impressed with the progress at Pembroke Elementary just 11 weeks after construction started.

Gemmill took a tour of the school Wednesday evening, along with CCPS Director of Facilities Ted Hautala, Chief Operations Officer Brad Hawkins, Principal Matt Boehman, school board member Linda Keller and Jennifer Maddux, who’s on the school’s site-based decision-making council.

Along the way, they were shown the changes being made as part of a nearly $12.8 million renovation project that will more than double the size of the school.

Work began May 5 to essentially rebuild the school and get it ready to hold children preschool through sixth grade by the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.

The parking lot is ready to go, and Boehman said the school will be ready for use when it opens this year on Aug. 5.

“(Students) can expect a fully functional school,” he said. “Right now, we’ll all be in the old building.”

Once that’s done, Boehman continued, they will take the students at the south end of the building and move them into the north end in effort to keep them as far away from the construction as possible.

One of the most noticeable changes Wednesday was the heating and air conditioning system, which ran silently throughout the tour and kept the halls at a comfortable temperature. Each wing of the school has its own heating and air conditioning units.

Additionally, the halls and classrooms are going from fluorescent lighting to LED, which will be brighter and more energy-efficient.

Other work being done on the front of the building includes cleaning the brick facade and placing fencing around the construction areas to keep students out.

The glass front for the entrance is expected to be in place by the first day of school. If it is not ready by that time, a fabricated steel wall will be put up to keep the entrance safe.

The floor will have tile similar to rubber, making it more durable. The ceiling tiles and floor tiles have not yet been put in place, and their absence revealed troughs that run the length of the ceiling carrying fiber-optic cable to the classrooms.

“I’m so pleased that everything’s on schedule or, in some cases, ahead of schedule,” Gemmill said. “I’m so impressed with the quality and the high level of efficiency the infrastructure provides. Ultimately, it’s better for kids and, with the lighting, the cooling and the heating system, I couldn’t be happier.”

Hautala said workers with A&K Construction out of Paducah have been running double shifts, putting in either 10-hour days five days a week or working eight hours during the daytime and eight hours at night.

“The nice part of it is (A&K Construction) has a good concert of different contractors all together at the same time,” he said. “It has literally created an army, a force of about 200 every day. It’s been a real positive flow all the way through.”

He added that classwork will not be disrupted by construction because the work that creates the most noise will be done when students are not in school.

Altogether, the project will add 46,307 square feet to the school, bringing the total to 80,437 square feet.

The south section, which includes the gymnasium, will grow an additional 20,841 square feet, while the north section, which includes the media center, will have an additional 18,680 square feet and the center division, which includes the cafeteria and kitchen, will have an additional 4,543 square feet.

The cost for just the construction is estimated at $10.9 million, and the entire project should be completed by July 2015, just in time for the following school year.

School information, including pickup and dropoff directions, and school supply lists are available at the school’s website,

David Snow is the editor of The Eagle Post. Reach David at 270-887-3295 or

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