Lyon County School students and staff will be returning on Sept. 7 for the 2021-2022 school year; summer school is happening, and building renovations are underway.

On April 19, the Lyon County Schools Board of Education approved a contract with Pinnacle Inc. of Benton, Kentucky. The contract is for the renovations of the elementary and high schools.

Elementary school renovations account for about 10% of the renovation budget.

Once completed, the school will have new classroom windows, new flooring in hallways and classrooms, renovated restrooms and updated lighting.

The high school renovation accounts for nearly 90% of the project budget.

In the first stage of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the board decided to install new bottle filling stations, which provides clean, filtered drinking water to the entire school community while safeguarding the population — it’s an alternative to plastic bottle usage as well.

The high school was built in the 1960s, which makes it more than half a century old, so the board, students, staff, and parents are eagerly waiting for the additions, facelifts, and upgraded systems.

In an April statement, Lyon County Schools Superintendent Russ Tilford said, “We are excited about this extensive facelift to our almost 60-year-old school building.”

The plans include new lighting throughout, lockers will be removed and replaced with new ones, a new HVAC system will be installed, and restrooms will be rehabbed and made wider.

Home economics and biology labs will receive major overhauls and a full build-out that will bring the outdated classrooms up to contemporary technological standards.

In lieu of the $6 million renovation project, Tilford said teaching and learning do not have to adapt because the curriculum was tailor-made before the school year began.

“Really our curriculum was already adapted to what we currently need to offer our students,” Tilford said. “We won’t really see much of a curriculum change; it will just be better tools in which we can bring the curriculum to our students.”

So far, there have not been any supply chain interruptions. Deliveries have been on time and according to schedule and demolition has run ahead of schedule.

The board of education was able to place several orders as soon as the district was awarded the funds for the renovations.

Conversations about the project build-out started before the pandemic, so the partial closure and anticipation were expected.

The board was able to secure a 20-year bond repayment to meet the construction bid price of $6,074,900.

“We were able to sell our bonds at a competitive rate, which allowed us to get a good value for the long term,” Tilford said.

A working budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 is in place until July.

“They’ve done a nice job getting it demoed out and getting it back in,” Tilford said. “We’re committed to starting school the Tuesday after Labor Day.”