Mercer school system buys warehouse

January 07, 2004|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - Mercer County School officials hope the purchase of a warehouse will ease both traffic and space problems for the school system.

The Mercer County Board of Education agreed last month to purchase a 38,000 square foot warehouse adjacent to school property for $750,000. It is owned by Harrodsburg Industrial Warehousing, a company owned by Kenneth Riley and Thomas Peavler.

An entrance to the property will be used by high school student drivers and staff only, Bruce Johnson, Mercer County School superintendent, said Tuesday night. That will take traffic pressure off of an intersection with Tapp Road and a cross road leading to both Mercer County Elementary School and Mercer County High School.

The land being purchased is almost two acres, but in addition to the entrance road, the important part of the purchase is under the roof of a two-story warehouse. One third of the building will be used as an athletic fieldhouse.


Johnson said he hopes the current fieldhouse can be converted to two or three classrooms because 50 more students than are currently enrolled in the high school will be coming from the middle school at the beginning of the next school year.

Another part of the building will be used for storage. Johnson said items are stored all over the school system with no single place to keep them.

The third use of the building may be to house the current central office staff. Johnson said architects are working on the building and may design a place for the central office. That would leave the current office building to be used by either by the system's alternative school facility or a family resource center.

Johnson said building such a structure would cost about $1.5 million and it would not provide a second entrance to high school property. The building is heated and connected to the city's sewage system.

He said the closing on the property is set for next week and in a few more weeks, school officials should have a more detailed plan for its use.

The money for the purchase comes from a fund that only can be used for facilities, Johnson said. He expects the building to be ready for athletic use by the beginning of the next school year. He said it will be used for all sports by both male and female students.

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