Projects will build a better Kentucky by improving schools, creating jobs
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 2, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced $127 million is headed to local school districts to fund construction and renovation projects as part of his Better Kentucky Plan, which will direct $1.3 billion to schools, expanding internet access and delivering clean drinking water and quality sewer systems across Kentucky.
The Kentucky School Facilities Construction Commission voted Wednesday to recommend funding for projects in the following districts: Hart, Martin, Floyd, Boyd, Bellevue, Mayfield, Jackson, Grant, Breckinridge, Bath, Cumberland, Pendleton and Carter.
“This is and always will be an education first administration, and this funding gives us a unique opportunity to renovate and replace some of our schools, making them a safer and better learning environment for our children and our educators,” said Gov. Beshear. “This will inject tens of millions of dollars into our schools as we work to build a better Kentucky for people in every corner of the commonwealth.”
The funds to build and renovate schools is part of the $1.3 billion Better Kentucky Plan, which will create 14,500 jobs while expanding broadband, delivering clean drinking water and building new schools. Gov. Beshear and Kentucky lawmakers reached a bipartisan agreement at the close of the 2021 General Assembly to invest federal relief funds in infrastructure.
The Kentucky School Facilities Construction Commission voted to make an offer of assistance to 13 school projects around the state. The school districts will receive the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds this summer, contingent on allocation by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
“These funds are going to make a tremendous difference in the lives of our kids. From safety to technology, these changes are going to give Kentucky kids the educational leg-up they deserve,” said Chelsey Couch, executive director of the Kentucky School Construction Facilities Commission.
The ARPA money is being allocated as gap funding. The state education commissioner needs to approve the offers and then the local school districts must accept or decline the offer.
“Gap funds cover what is beyond the ability of the school district to bond or finance. This money is a bridge to carry important projects to completion,” added Gov. Beshear.
Each school district in Kentucky must maintain a standing facilities plan. Those plans are prioritized at the state level by the School Facilities Commission. If one of the chosen school districts does not accept the allocated funding, the funds will be applied to the next project on the state’s priority list.
The following school districts and funding amounts have been conditionally approved by the Commission:
|Hart||Bonnieville Elementary School||$2,760,255|
|Martin||Inez Elementary School||$10,660,970|
|Floyd||Duff-Allen Central Elementary School||$10,975,466|
|Boyd||Cannonsburg Elementary School||$7,298,241|
|Bellevue||Grandview Elementary School||$5,751,751|
|Mayfield||Mayfield High School||$10,478,018|
|Jackson||Jackson County Middle School||$10,853,035|
|Grant||Dry Ridge Elementary School||$7,283,926|
|Breckinridge||Breckinridge County Middle School||$14,659,933|
|Bath||Bath County Middle School||$7,146,482|
|Cumberland||Cumberland County Elementary School||$13,163,077|
|Pendleton||Phillip Sharp Middle School||$8,131,304|
|Carter||East Carter High School||$14,077,165|
On Tuesday, the Governor announced local utilities could begin submitting projects for the $250 million Cleaner Water Program, the portion of the Better Kentucky Plan created to deliver clean drinking water and quality sewer systems across the commonwealth.
Information about the Better Kentucky Plan including grants for broadband expansion, cleaner water and sewer, school facility upgrades, and vocational education center renovations, can be found at https://governor.ky.gov/BetterKy/.