Oldham County Arts Center Dedication

Community gathers
to honor retiring school superintendent

Haselton conceived of creating the educational center

By Don Ward

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (June 2005) – Retiring Oldham County School Superintendent Blake Haselton says he usually comes dressed for any occasion. But he showed up for the Oldham County Arts Center dedication ceremony on May 21 without a tie and looking semi-casual.

Blake Haselton

Photo by Don Ward

Blake Haselton poses beside a new
sculpture created in his honor.

He was surprised to learn that the ceremony had been secretly planned to honor him.
He was equally surprised to sit on the stage as the guest of honor with Kentucky Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit and Lindy Casebier, a former state senator who now serves as executive director of arts and humanities in the state Commerce Cabinet.
“I am not out-dressed at such events, but I’ll blame this on my conspirators who planned all this,” he joked upon taking the podium to help dedicate the arts center. The “conspirators” included assistant school superintendent Harrie Buecker and arts center board chairwoman Linda Theiss.
The 100 or so people attending the event were treated to a performance by the Oldham County Singers and were then invited outside for the unveiling of a new sculpture that was designed and created by Dave Caudill of Louisville but assisted by 16 students representing all of Oldham County schools.

Dave Caudill

Photo by Don Ward

Louisville artist Dave Caudill
explains his sculpture design.

Haselton was impressed not only with the creative designs but the work done by the students The black granite sculpture titled “Testament” was created to honor Haselton’s service in the school system. The various artistic styles were applied to the vertical sculpture on tiles. More tiles are to be added later, Caudill said.
Haselton, 56, and his wife, Pam, have three sons, and son Andrew Haselton will design a garden around the sculpture. He is finishing his bachelor’s degree in agriculture at the University of Kentucky. Another son, Brad, has graduated from UK in accounting, and their youngest son, Daniel, will be a freshman this fall at Oldham County High School.
Haselton, meanwhile, will retire from the school system on June 30 after spending the last 14 years as superintendent.
The arts center, located at 7105 Floydsburg Rd. in Crestwood, opened last fall and now serves as the site of classes in performing and visual arts, as well as the home of the Oldham County Adult Education classes and offices. It is the former Crestwood Baptist Church, which moved out on the Hwy. 329 Bypass, where it built a larger facility to accommodate its growing membership.
Haselton was praised for his vision at the time to have the school system take over the building and convert it into an arts center.
The school district bought the building for $1.6 million in 2001 and is paying the debt with its $200,000 share of money paid annually by Dynegy to Oldham County Fiscal Court in lieu of property taxes.

• For more information on the arts center, call (502) 241-6018.

Back to June 2005 Articles.



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