“What I was asking for was approval for [the improvement projects], and once we get the plans, we’ll have a better idea of the cost,” Superintendent John Harper said following the board’s business session.
The projects include renovations and additions at White Elementary School, which includes relocating bus drop-off and pick-up points as well as relocating the school’s media center and adding internal classrooms while eliminating portable classrooms; eliminating portable classrooms at Hamilton Crossing Elementary School and adding onto the building; renovations to the Bartow County Learning Center, which soon will house the Bartow County College and Career Academy; building a better-functioning field house at Adairsville Middle School and re-fencing the school stadium; and demolishing the old AMS building.
“We’d like to have a green space [at the old AMS site] until we are able to build a new elementary school,” Harper said during the work session preceding Monday’s business session.
While a total price for all projects was not available at press time, the county recently acquired a $3.2 million grant to use toward renovations at the BCLC, located at the old Cass High School.
Coordinator for Testing and Assessment Paul Sabin said the money will go to help build an engineering lab, healthcare wing, cosmetology lab and marketing lab on the Bartow County College and Career Academy portion of campus.
Director of Elementary Curriculum Buffy Williams said the system currently is applying for another Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant. The system received an approximately $4 million SRCL grant this year, which encourages supplement technology to aid in literacy, for example, providing laptop computers to students at Cloverleaf Elementary School.
“It’s not a technology grant, but it’s getting our kids ready for the 21st century and being able to embed that literacy in a different way and a different methodology,” Williams said of the grant. The current grant helps support endeavors at Clear Creek, Cloverleaf, Emerson, Hamilton Crossing, Kingston and White elementary schools as well as South Central and Cass middle schools and Cass High School
If the system receives the grant again this year, Williams said it will go to aid Adairsville schools, Allatoona Elementary School, Euharlee Elementary School, Mission Road Elementary School, Pine Log Elementary School, Taylorsville Elementary School, and Woodland middle and high schools.
“Last year the state had $25 million to use, this year they have $22 million, but we do have two high schools involved, which will most likely give us more money,” Williams said, adding the schools have been “very diligent” in the grant application process.
In other news, the board approved an approximate $140,000 bid for a two-year contract with a cross platform software management solution company.
“We’re moving toward [increased] technology in our school system, and currently, if we’re going to add a piece of software to one of our computers, an individual has to go to that computer and add that piece of software to it. So, if we have 500 computers, we have to do that 500 times,” Harper said. “This piece of software will allow us to, at one location, send the information out and add it to each computer.”
The board also approved Stephen Cochran, chairman of the budget and finance committee, as well as Macy Defnall, executive director of human resources, as the system’s Georgia Open Records Act designated records officers.
“Georgia law … provides a provision for records officers …, and we typically have open records requests that come in to different areas and we believe both individuals can take care of that,” Harper said.
Both Harper and board attorney Boyd Pettit reiterated that Cochran or Defnall should be contacted for open records requests regarding the school system.