BOE Looks to SPLOST Projects in 2013

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The Fannin School District is planning several SPLOST projects for next year.

Assistant Superintendent and Facility Director Art Hubbard and Director of Technology and Media Services Michael Gwatney requested approval of SPLOST projects during the Fannin county Board of Education’s December meeting. Hubbard’s request included several projects, from converting the old field house at the high school into special needs classrooms with facilities in order to eliminate the trailers that have been used for nearly a decade, to converting the heat at the middle school to propane. Hubbard stated that the estimated savings would exceed the cost of installation in a short period of time. He also recommended changing the shingled part of the roof at Blue Ridge Elementary to a metal roof to make it a lower maintenance facility, which would match the new part of the school. He also requested to build a new maintenance facility. Hubbard stated that the building currently being used is in such poor condition that when it rains, it also rains inside.

“The space is so old that only the office is truly heated,”

he said. All board members agreed these projects would be beneficial to the county and that Mr. Hubbard may pursue bids for the project. As such, SPLOST money will be used to fund the projects.

For his part, Mr. Gwatney requested the use of SPLOST money to complete a project installing extensive wireless networks in four schools. Gwatney presented bids for the project during the December meeting.

“Previously, wireless networks could be weaker but now, in order to support the types of devices used, we must saturate the entire school with a wireless signal,”

he said. The total cost for all four projects is $171,520 with an average cost of $42,880 per project. Gwatney, however, said he applied for a federal grant that helps fund technology projects, saying his grant application was approved. The grant will pay for $150,246.80, leaving the county responsible for paying only $21,273.20 out of SPLOST funding. The board approved the use of SPLOST funds for the projects.

Also during the meeting, Superintendent Henson requested the board approve the financial report as presented, with 33.33% of the fiscal year complete. For the last four months, the financial report reflects revenues in the amount of $5,632,924.08 with total expenditures of $9,259,502.74. Additionally, Henson explained the SPLOST collections. Collections from the program have awarded the school system with $2,854,335.84 so far this year. The projected amount to March 2016 is $18,860,700.02, he said.

Similarly, Transportation Director Benny Long requested the approval to seek bids to purchase four special needs school buses. The board unanimously approved the request.

“This is part of our normal rotation,”

he said, “and we haven’t purchased any special needs buses in several years.”

The board also re-appointed Mrs. Lynn Doss as board attorney for 2013 and, following an executive session announced it gave Superintendent Mark Henson high marks on his evaluation.


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