BOE approves money request
Funds could bring in high school addition, new elementary school

COVINGTON - The Newton County Board of Education unanimously approved a state capital outlay application that could provide the county with a new elementary school and an addition to Alcovy High School.

At its monthly meeting on Tuesday night, the board members unanimously approved a recommendation made by Newton County School System Superintendent Steven Whatley of 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 for between $4.8 million and $9.3 million.

"Once the board has approved the FY 2010 Capital Outlay Application, it will go 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, at a work session earlier this month. "Once the legislature appropriates these funds, those bonds are typically sold by the state between late summer and early fall."

The high school addition is expected to cost about $12 million with the monies coming from state funds, SPLOST III and other local funding. It is expected to be open for the beginning of the 2010-11 school year.

The new elementary school is expected to cost about $16 million to construct, which includes funding from another state request and support from SPLOST III and other local monetary resources. It is expected to be the same design as the system's newest school, South Salem Elementary, and the system's 14th elementary school, which is being built at the intersection of Kirkland and Jack Neely roads and is scheduled to open for the 2009-10 school year.

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.

"We are still looking for property that would be appropriate," she said Monday.

Viniard said the school system hopes to open the new elementary school during the summer of 2011, as well as open a 16th elementary school during the summer of 2013.

"This timeline will, of course, depend on the state, including capital outlay, and local revenues" the school system receives, she said. "We can't construct new schools without the necessary capital outlay funds."

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