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Paducah Public Schools News Article

Paducah schools cut tax rate

There were no comments from the public about the tax rate and very little discussion about the change.

"We're excited to continue to lower the tax rate, and we will do that as much as we possibly can," said board member Danette Humphrey. "We have to continue to take care of our kids, too, so it's a bit of a balancing act."

Before and after the tax hearing, there was a lot of talk about the future of Paducah's Innovation Hub, a $16 million project that will replace Paducah Tilghman's ATC.

During the meeting, Rob Deal of JRA Architects showed the board mockups of what the Innovation Hub might look like, though he reiterated the architects are still in the early stages of development.

"One thing that was clear early on in the process was just how special Tilghman's campus was to you and the community," Deal said. "You just don't see this type of classicism on a new high school campus."

Deal said the building won't hug against the high school because that would create too many interior classrooms, going against the very idea of what the Innovation Hub is meant to be: open.

The corridor-like structure will be full of windows, Deal said, allowing a lot of natural light and allowing students to see into each classroom or "makerspace." Shively previously described the makerspace as "a library without books."

The hub also will be home to the new board office as well as a credit union, and will consist of two floors.

With the current plans, the Innovation Hub will be 87,000 square feet. The board office will take up nearly 11,000 square feet of the space, and the credit union will be 665 square feet.

Deal estimated the total cost of the Innovation Hub to be $19 million. He expects to receive construction bids as early as June 2018 with a construction date of a year from now. Completion should be around February 2020.

Deal summed up the current design of the Innovation Hub by asking the question: "How do we add to the building in a way that is new and exciting, but still honoring the original architecture?"

In celebration of the school's architecture, the board meeting was held in the newly renovated court square of Paducah Tilghman High School. The board held a special dedication ceremony for the square.

Board Chairman Carl LeBuhn said he was glad the space was being used.

"I thought it was unfortunate that this great space was here but not able to be used," he said. "My wife had a class reunion here, and they had to have it in the cafeteria. This would have been a great space to have it."

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