Add-on, facility planned
BOE to vote on application

COVINGTON - The Newton County Board of Education is expected to vote tonight on a state capital outlay application for an addition to Alcovy High School and for the construction of a new elementary school.

At its work session Aug. 12, Newton County School System Superintendent Steve Whatley recommended the board approve the 2010 application for a 50-classroom addition at the high school and the construction of the system's 15th elementary school for state funding in the amount between $4.8 and $9.3 million.

"Once the board has approved the FY 2010 Capital Outlay Application, it will go to the state board for approval and then will be placed in the Department of Education's request to be included in the governor's budget for FY 2010," said Deborah Robertson, associate superintendent for administration at NCSS. "Once the legislature appropriates these funds, those bonds are typically sold by the state between later summer and early fall."

Therefore, she said, the school system could have the money available by Oct. 10; she added that the school system can begin construction earlier as long as local funds were available.

In the recommendation, Whatley said the Alcovy High School addition should bid no later than September to open for the beginning of the 2010-11 school year.

The addition is expected to cost about $12 million total from state funds, SPLOST III and other local funding.

Sherri Viniard, director of public relations for NCSS, said the school system has yet to determine a location for the system's 15th elementary school. It is expected to be the same design as the system's newest school, South Salem Elementary.

The system's 14th elementary school is being built at the intersection of Kirkland and Jack Neely roads and is scheduled to open for the 2009-10 school year.

The new elementary school is expected to cost about $16 million to construct, which included funding from another state request and support from SPLOST III and other local monetary resources.

The board will meet at 7 tonight in the board room at the Newton County Board of Education building, located at 2109 Newton Drive N.E. in Covington.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.