New greenhouse in the works for Newton High

COVINGTON — Plans are underway for construction of a greenhouse on the new campus of Newton High School.

Newton County Board of Education members received a recommendation from Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey at their work session Tuesday for approval of a contract for construction of the facility. BOE members are expected to vote on the contract at their April 22 meeting.

James Woodard, CEO and principal of the Newton College and Career Academy, presented the recommendation for a $134,748 contract with Kunj Construction USA Inc. of Lizella.

Woodard explained that the project will be funded by two different revenue sources: $90,000 will come from a grant from the state Career Technical and Agricultural Education Division; the remaining $44,748 will be paid through capital outlay funds since the greenhouse was part of the original site plan for Newton High.

Completion of the project is set for June 30.

In other discussion, the board heard a recommendation for the purchase of four 72-passenger school buses. The majority of the funding will come from a bond program through the state Department of Education and the State Financing and Investment Commission.

The total cost of the buses is $379,636, of which the state will pay $308,880. Michael Barr, director of Support Services, said the balance will be paid through school system SPLOST funds.

Two vendors were selected to provide two buses each — Rush Truck Centers/IC, with a price of $189,260; and Peach State Freightliner/Thomas, with a price of $190,376.