|BOE needs $95 million for 4
By PAT NEWMAN
technology and security these are the
three areas Fayette County's Board of Education
is focusing on funding through a sales tax or
bond referendum in the neighborhood of $85 to $95
board work session Monday night brought the needs
of a rapidly growing county to the forefront, as
administrators in the school district and funding
specialists bombarded the board with facts,
figures and options. Proposed facilities include
two new elementary schools (40 classrooms), a new
middle school (65 classrooms) and a new high
school (90 classrooms), plus additions at
existing schools (54 classrooms) to a total of
the addition of 289 classrooms, we will provide
seats for 5,202 students over the next five
years, said Ed Steil, technology
coordinator for the school district. He estimated
900 new students will enter county schools every
year for the next five years. Charts showed
steady increases in the elementary grades but an
overload in the middle schools.
lot of people move in the middle school years to
get ready for high school entrance, Steil
said. Eventually, this bubble of
students floods the high schools, he added.
County schools currently have 19,909 students
filling 1,110 classrooms plus 97 portable
classrooms. Many schools are already
bursting at the seams, according to
facilities director Mike Satterfield. State
funding for one elementary school and a middle
school has already been approved. The catch is
that the board has to come up with a local $12
million share in order to receive the $8 million
in state money.
are firm, with bids to be let for the elementary
construction by next spring and construction to
begin next June. With the most rapid growth being
felt in the south and west sectors of the county,
planners are looking at property in those two
areas with the first elementary school to go in
for an elementary and high school is being looked
at south of Fayetteville with additional land
needs west of Fayetteville for an elementary,
middle and, later, a high school.
mega funding project is based on the proposals
contained in the 1997 Special Purpose Local
Options Sales Tax package, which failed. We
refined it, added information and looked at
facilities equity, Satterfield said.
proposals include 30 color cameras, two color
monitors, two multiplexers, two walk-through
metal detectors and two hand-held metal detectors
for the elementary schools; 45 color cameras,
three color monitors, three mulitplexers, three
walk-through metal detectors and three hand-held
metal detectors for middle schools; and 60 color
cameras, four color monitors, four mulitplexers,
four walk-through metal detectors and four
hand-held metal detectors for the high schools.
cost for the new security equipment is estimated
at $1.6 million.
for upgrading technology in the county's schools
and offices included extensive rewiring with
fiber optics, replacing dated computers and
adding software over a period of five years with
a grand year total of $11.98 million.
board is looking at three funding options.
We can go with a bond referendum, go with a
sales tax only or come up with a sales tax with a
bond attached to it to start projects
immediately. We can pay off the the bonds with
the sales tax as it comes in, said Dr. John
DeCotis, school superintendent.
decision must be made as early as next month if
the board goes for a September vote, or a tad
later to be on the November ballot.
new classrooms to be added
1 new high school
1 new middle school
2 new elementary
schools 40 classrooms
existing schools 54 classrooms
accommodate 5,202 new students over 5 years
1,110 and 97 portables
Source: Fayette County School System