Arlington renovation advances; Cassidy plan worries parent

The Fayette County Board of Education accepted an $88,243 bid Monday night for demolition work in preparation for the renovation of Arlington Elementary School.

The low bid, submitted by Superior Demolition Inc. of Lexington, is to demolish about half of the existing Arlington building.

Board members also voted to seek bids on the secondary portion of the project, which calls for renovating and expanding the remaining half of the building to create a new 65,000-square-foot Arlington School in 2010.

Arlington is one five Lexington schools being renovated. But a parent raised questions Monday night about renovation plans at one of the other schools.

Casey Hinds told school board members she has continuing concerns about the school system's plan to renovate Cassidy Elementary School while students are still in the building. Hinds, who has one child at Cassidy now and another starting kindergarten there soon, submitted several questions about safety, such as whether contractors doing the renovation will have to meet new federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations that will go into effect in 2010.

Hinds also contended that the school system has not adequately informed parents as to what will be done to protect children during the renovation. Hinds said she is a former Air Force pilot and trained to be concerned with safety.

Superintendent Stu Silberman said after the meeting that school officials have discussed safety issues with Hinds several times and have tried to answer all her questions. Fayette County has renovated about 20 schools with students present and has had no problems, he said.