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Boyle may hold floor-signing ceremony for new middle school

Students may get a unique opportunity to put their signature on the new Boyle County Middle School — literally.

The school district could hold a special floor-signing ceremony this summer, before the new middle school is scheduled to open in the fall, said Jane Crickard with Clotfelter Samokar, the architectural firm heading up the middle school project for the Boyle County Board of Education.

Crickard presented the idea to the board Thursday night. It involves cordoning off a specific area of the school — perhaps the gym or library — while the school is still under construction, and then inviting students and parents in to draw and write on the subfloor before the final flooring is put down.

Crickard said Clotfelter Samokar successfully pulled off the same type of event at the newly opened Boonesborough Elementary in Madison County last year.

“It absolutely was fantastic, adorable — a very memorable moment,” Crickard said. “… The trickiest part of the whole thing is timing.”

Contractors have to be able to keep to a schedule, so it takes planning ahead to find a good time when the subfloor is down and the contractor can wait to put down the final floor, she explained.

The fact the school will still be an active construction site is something organizers must keep in mind — participants must be well-informed of the spaces they can enter and where they cannot go in the school, Crickard said.

At Boonesborough, caution tape that read “Kids at work” was put up around the area where students and parents could enter, and kids were given play hardhats — “not for protection; just for fun,” she said.

“I did not expect the parents to get into it as much as they did,” she said. “… I think the most unexpected part was how many of the parents came up afterwards and said how thrilled they were to be able to do this with their kids.”

Teachers wrote encouraging messages and Bible verses, among other things, on the floor before students arrived, and the school principal wrote the district’s mission statement in big letters on the center of the floor, Crickard said.

Superintendent Mike LaFavers said the district would put together a committee to look into the idea and begin planning.

“I think this is the kind of thing that would get a lot of media attention for sure,” Crickard said.

“And I think a lot of student interest as well,” LaFavers added.

In other business, the board also approved expanding Clotfelter Samokar’s duties to include planning for an additional road that would be constructed to the new middle school site, so that there would be more than one way in and out of the school. The district is expecting to spend about $600,000 out of the middle school’s $1.5 million contingency funds to build the road.