The Carroll County Middle School construction project took another step forward after school board members unanimously approved construction documents and the advertisement of the project during a meeting Thursday.

John Gilbert with RossTarrant Architects of Lexington presented an overview of the building project, which includes a new gymnasium and renovations to the existing gymnasium. The project also includes a new gymnasium lobby, walking track, outdoor classroom and indoor classroom space.

Gilbert said architects have identified 11 alternates to the base bid document for the project. The alternates - which include a bus canopy, new basement entry, basement resource room upgrades, flooring finishes and others - would allow the district to take out or add the alternates to reduce costs of the project if needed.

Gilbert told school board members the construction costs of the estimated $8.7 million project may increase by 3.5 to 4 percent based on recent bids of other projects, but the rest of the project is expected to go on as previously planned.

A proposed timeline for the project shows work on the new addition beginning in February 2014, with a completion date of June or July of 2015.

Renovations of the former gymnasium would begin in June 2014 with a final completion date of August 2015.

The school board unanimously approved the advertisement of the bidding process to begin Nov. 20 with a bid date of Dec. 17.

School board members could accept bids as soon as late December or January.

Also during the meeting, Bill Hogan, the district's chief academic officer, presented information on the Professional Growth Evaluation System being implemented in the district and throughout the state.

The new evaluation system requires a more in-depth look at teaching techniques and observations.

"It's not a 'catch you, get rid of you,'" Hogan said of the new evaluation system. "It's a 'catch you, help you' just like students."

The new evaluation system takes a closer look at what works in the classroom and components of the classroom that could be improved to provide students with a better learning environment. So far, the high school has been chosen as the "pilot" school in the district to try the new evaluation system.

High school principal Tom Stephens and six tenured teachers have taken part in the education development, tests and observations of the new system. Eventually, all teachers in the district will be evaluated based on observations, testing, educational development, peer evaluations and student surveys.

Hogan said the district is still waiting on the evaluation plan from the Kentucky Department of Education, as a clear plan on the new standards has not been outlined. Right now, the state expects the implementation to take place during the 2014-2015 school year.

"I think there's going to be a lot of changes on this," Hogan said. "We're going to roll with it. We're going to do the best we can."

In other business:

• Cartmell Elementary fifth-grade students presented a "Fun Theory" about improving the reading scores in the school. The "Fun Theory," which improves already existing items or ideas, adds fun to motivate a person to do something that is better for them.

The "Fun Theory" presented at the board meeting involved the use of paper mustaches for achievements of five points. Students who earn two mustaches are awarded lunch for their reading achievements.

"This is 100 percent student-generated," Cartmell Elementary Principal Doug Oak said. "I'm really, really proud of them."

• Superintendent Lisa James recognized Cindy Wheeler and Jeannie Rohrer for helping in their school buildings and throughout the district.

• Elementary Instructional Supervisor Pam Williams presented information about the progress needed throughout the school year to meet state achievements in reading and math proficiency, college and career readiness, gap and the district's graduation rate. Williams noted the goals will require work, but all of the targets are achievable.