Four major maintenance items — painting, parking lots, heating and air and roofing — in the Sampson County Schools system were recently listed as priorities in a seven-year plan presented to Sampson County Board of Commissioners.
Anthony Vann, executive director of Auxiliary Services for Sampson County Schools, told Board of Education members earlier this week that after discussing the issues with commissioners, he, along with superintendent Dr. Ethan Lenker provided a detailed list of the needs for maintenance for the next seven years to the county so they could be prepared to pay for the costs.
“The list was provided to let them know how much it costs to properly maintain these facilities every year,” Vann explained, showing the just over $2.8 million total of the four maintenance items of the entire system. “We understand that total is a lot to get a hold of so we are trying to get something in place so the commissioners will have a chance to look over it and possibly build on it each year. So by the end of, say 2021, if a roof is needed at Clement Elementary, for instance, our assumption is that it will last at least 20 more years, and when it comes time to replace it, it is going to cost upwards of $700,000 to replace it. If the county could put some money away each year, by the time it came around, we wouldn’t have to worry about asking for a total of $700,000, we would have some that we had already been saving.”
The suggestion to commissioners was to save $3,500 a year for 20 years, and that would cover some of the costs of a roof or to help pay for any other items needed by the system.
Vann noted that it takes $354,032.23 a year to paint all the facilities in the system on a seven-year rotation. It costs $946,931. 25 each year to maintain heating and air conditioning in the system each year; for parking lots, it costs $294,783.24 a year; and for roofing, at $10 a square foot, it costs $1.2 million to maintain each year.
“Of course, those prices are for if everything is cared for properly,” he said. “There is no new construction on this list. It would be a long shot if we would get $4 million a year from the county in maintenance, so by doing it this way, it gives them a chance to look at our needs and make a plan for the next seven-year rotation.”
Vann said the numbers were recently requested by the Board of Commissioners.
“We got word that they were serious about starting some kind of fund for this, no matter what the costs were,” he told the board. “I know it has been discussed for years, but with the recent roof requests, I don’t know if that is what initiated the requests or not. I understand the county manager was going to take this and present it to the commissioners.”
G.H. Wilson said county manager Ed Causey has always been open to discussions with the board. “I know that he has some background in construction. I can’t speak for him, but I think he knows that we have got to have something and there needs to be some plan put in place.”
“When we spoke to him, he said he knows it would be easier if we had some type of plan, so when it came to spending, we could make decisions based on what we had saved,” he said.
The Sampson County Board of Commissioners have not voted on the measure and it is still too early to tell if it is a viable option considering costs throughout the county, but officials are happy that the dialogue has already started.
“This is something that, if it can happen, it will help out both the county and our system in the future,” said Vann.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.