Officials from Sampson County Schools are prioritizing ways to improve infrastructure for the upcoming school year.
Mark Hammond, executive director of auxiliary services for the district, recently presented capital outlay plans for the 2018-2019 period. The district received more than $831,000 from Sampson County Commissioners for capital projects. Another $400,000 was given for a roof replacement at Union Intermediate School, bringing the total to $1.23 million.
Some of the listed needs include $300,000 for 10 maintenance vehicles to replace ones that are a decade old. Another need is replacement of the bus garage roof, which may cost $181,000. But with expected assistance from Clinton City Schools the total cost will drop for SCS. Both school systems share the facility for transportation needs.
To come in compliance with House Bill 13 — a requirement to have a set number of students in K-3 classrooms, the district plans to add about 19 mobile units during the next three years. The estimated cost is about $300,000.
“I don’t want to be in a situation where you’re going to have to find 18 classrooms for these kids,” Hammond said about adding five or six each year.
An official student count has not been set, but officials estimate that Roseboro Elementary will need four mobile units, three for Union Elementary, one for Plain View Elementary, and two apiece for Midway Elementary and Hargrove. Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy said it’s not idea, but it’s possible to use other buildings such as the old Midway and the Charles E. Perry facility as spacing options.
Hammond also presented a condense version of request from individual schools. During a past work session, safety was a major priority among board members. Some of it included cameras, a security swipe card systems and fencing around schools. Under Roseboro-Salemburg Middle School a $53,000 fencing project is listed. Hammond said the school is wide open from different sides. A project started in 2013, but it was never completed. For whatever reason, it was never completed.
Board Chair Tim Register expressed how it was important to make the best use of funds, while questioning the need to buy a large group of vehicles at once or the need for fencing at building. Board Member Mary Brown said it’s a duty of her colleagues to sort out and prioritize needs, while keeping security and safety at the top.
“We do need to consider the safety of our children regardless,” Brown said.
Vice Chair Kim Schmidlin believe technology should be a priority, especially with computers that been around for about a decade or longer.
“It’s extremely important for us to remain competitive,” she said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.