WINCHESTER — A Central Kentucky elementary school that was on a list of the state's most dilapidated buildings is about to get some national exposure.
Fannie Bush Elementary School in Clark County got a visit last week from People magazine, which interviewed the principal, teachers and some parents about conditions at the school for a piece about the six worst school buildings in the United States.
Principal Angie Taylor told The Winchester Sun that when People called about making the visit, she wasn't so sure it was a good idea.
But she feels better about the interview now because she says the magazine is working on a story highlighting the difficulties of educating students in less-than-desirable conditions.
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Fannie Bush Elementary was one of three schools in Clark County rated as what is known as a "category 5," or in the worst physical shape. Statewide, 14 public schools were named to that list.
"I thought the call was a joke at first." Taylor said.
Taylor said she was completely honest with the reporters when asked what were some of the biggest challenges her staff dealt with on a daily basis.
Most are things newer schools don't have to worry about, such as having only one bathroom to serve more than 300 students, only one entrance for traffic into the facility, and having a gymnasium that also serves as the cafeteria.
The school this year has also had to deal with sewage backing up due to collapsed sewer lines, Taylor said.
Superintendent Elaine Farris said it was surprising to her that a school district in Central Kentucky could have so many category 5 schools.
"The thing that is surprising to me more than anything is for Clark County, in the area that it sits in Kentucky, to have three category 5 schools, is very unusual for this part of Kentucky," said Farris. "The question we need to ask ourselves as a community is, 'Why is that?' And what do we do to remedy it?"
Both Taylor and Farris said they hoped the publicity would shine some light on the problem and spur state officials to take action.
"We are meeting our Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals set by No Child Left Behind," Taylor said. "How much better could we do if we were in better conditions?"