5 Richmond County schools top proposed list of SPLOST projects

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 9:15 PM
Last updated Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 7:40 AM
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The Richmond County Board of Education is considering more than $130 million in improvement projects for local schools to be funded with the next round of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

The school board spent two hours Wednesday going over the preliminary list of projects and amounts of funds designated to each school, a draft prepared by the district’s construction consultant, Jeff Baker.

Because of the unpredictability of the economy over the next five years, Baker outlined a series of five major projects to be constructed first before the cost of materials might increase.

Those projects include $20 million to replace classroom wings and other improvements at Butler High School and using some of $15 million to replace wood-based buildings at the 50-year-old Murphey Middle School. Glenn Hills High School has $12 million allotted to renovate the baseball field, build a new gym and create Junior ROTC wings.

At the more than 60-year-old Lucy C. Laney High School, the preliminary SPLOST budget dedicates $20 million to replace classroom wings, build a new cafeteria and renovate the gym.

There is also $7 million budgeted to improve the front facade of Westside High School along with upgrading the cafeteria and replacing the roof and HVAC system.

“Let’s get aggressive and get those to the bid table and invest in the market,” Baker said.

The proposed projects are part of the fourth SPLOST phase, which is brought to voters every five years. School board attorney Pete Fletcher said he is attempting to add this SPLOST phase to the presidential primary ballot, which is still not set but is thought to take place in March.

To be added to the primary ballot, the school board must approve a final SPLOST list in early October.

It has been 15 years since voters approved the first SPLOST phase. Since then, the district has built new schools and renovated existing buildings using the 1-cent sales tax.

Despite $130 million designated for schools in the upcoming SPLOST round, there is actually more than $300 million in school improvement needs, Baker said.

Construction consultants had to narrow down the list of needs, and Baker said much of the focus was improving roofs andand the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, which Baker called “common sense dollars.”

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Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 08/31/11 - 08:18 pm
0
0
If the BOE gets your money,

If the BOE gets your money, you deserve to have it taken from you. If you think the city government is messy, check these cats out.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/31/11 - 08:56 pm
0
0
Fund education, not

Fund education, not schools.

Case in point? SPLOST money built a brand spanking new gym at Laney. Now, they are talking about renovating it. And, the academic results? One of the worst graduation rates in the country.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 08/31/11 - 10:08 pm
0
0
don't fall for it. putting
Unpublished

don't fall for it. putting schools at the top of splost is like taking a little kid hostage to mess with our emotions. splost is a racket. no on splost all the time. insider's right- fund education not schools.

DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 08/31/11 - 10:35 pm
0
0
But its for the children. And

But its for the children. And its only a penny. Go one year without a capital improvement and see what happens. There is no reason to vote to spend that money. Voters agree to raise taxes to make school investments that hopefully will enhance the value of homes that are zoned for a good school. Sorry but Augusta is built out and nobody chooses those schools for equity improvement. It will be a hard sell getting people to vote for SPLOST for this list.

dichotomy
36124
Points
dichotomy 08/31/11 - 10:39 pm
0
0
SPLOST is an acronym that

SPLOST is an acronym that needs to be stricken from the vocabulary of our elected officials. They get plenty of taxes. They tax my income. Multiple agencies tax my house every year. They tax my car when I buy it and then tax it again every year. They tax the gas I use. They tax my electricity which they have no hand in producing. They tax my phone lines and wireless cards every month. AND THEN THEY MISMANAGE AND WASTE IT ALL. And then they drag back every year or two with SPLOST and TSPLOST and all of the projects they are wanting money for are things that were supposed to be funded with all of those other taxes they have already taken. And they keep increasing those regular taxes too every time they think they can without causing a riot. Stop the SPLOSTS fad. It's already out of control and they are inventing new crap every day while the waste and mismanage our regular tax dollars....which, oh by the way, are already more than they should be getting. Stop this SPLOST fad in it's tracks. Vote no on TSPLOST too. If you don't they will have another capital letter to put in front of SPLOST soon. They are trying to "it's just a penny" us to death and we, the stupid masses, keep falling for it. Just ask them "what the hell did you do with the first 6% of my money?" Take SPLOST and TSPLOST and put it in a pipe and smoke it 'cause when the politicians and inept school board get ahold of your money it's going up in smoke anyway.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 08/31/11 - 10:44 pm
0
0
What'll Pete Fletcher's cut

What'll Pete Fletcher's cut of the multi-million-dollar attorney's fees to be generated from the sale of revenue-anticipation bonds to finance the proposed capital improvements?

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 09/01/11 - 07:52 am
0
0
OOPS: ...be?

OOPS: ...be?

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 09/01/11 - 08:39 am
0
0
Maybe the school board should

Maybe the school board should build a baseball stadium downtown.

They have already used SPLOST money to build mega football stadiums at every high school.

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 09/01/11 - 10:20 am
0
0
I can see it! Cal Ripken Jr

I can see it! Cal Ripken Jr Middle School!

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 09/01/11 - 11:18 am
0
0
Maybe Copenhaver High

Maybe Copenhaver High Baseball Stadium?

Little Lamb
47861
Points
Little Lamb 09/01/11 - 11:49 am
0
0
I think I read in the paper

I think I read in the paper that the TSPLOST referendum will be on the presidential primary ballot this coming spring. That is a NEW tax for transportation, and the powers that be are including a hefty contribution to the Augusta bus operation plus some piddly road resurfacings.

Having the school board SPLOST on the same ballot is a good idea, because having two tax initiatives on the same ballot might actually cause one or both of them to go down in defeat.

We can cross our fingers.

willie7
1047
Points
willie7 09/01/11 - 12:12 pm
0
0
Pete Fletcher has become a
Unpublished

Pete Fletcher has become a millionare working for the board. His salary isn't published. If anyone knows, pllease tell me.

commonsense-is-endangere
43
Points
commonsense-is-endangere 09/01/11 - 03:13 pm
0
0
Babysitting service getting

Babysitting service getting expensive.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 09/01/11 - 04:09 pm
0
0
(W)illie7, You're not

(W)illie7,

You're not supposed to know how much Pete and his law firm had made during the almost-40 years since he became RCBOE attorney. And you're certainly not authorized by TPTB to disseminate bits of information which might excite public interest in more extensive financial data which would prove highly embrarrassing to them and theirs.

By the way, I asked Mr. Howard for the specific information of which I write.

augusta citizen
9939
Points
augusta citizen 09/01/11 - 05:31 pm
0
0
No to all new taxes, call it

No to all new taxes, call it TSPLOST, SPLOST, ELOST, all these silly monikers that they must spend money to have created. Do they take tax money for focus groups to come up with cute, catchey little names to get people to vote for them. Enough for me, I will vote no to every tax, everytime. Do I not care about infrastructure, "the kids"? Don't go there, start being a wise steward of the tax coffers, give full disclosure where money will be spent and spend it in a reasonable manner and people may vote for it, otherwise, forget it!

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 09/01/11 - 07:24 pm
0
0
It has yet to be proven that

It has yet to be proven that SPLOSTs actually offset or reduce property taxes. In actuality they can be quite the opposite. Local governments treat splosts like a christmas wishlist. They tack all sorts of expensive projects onto splost, but they never tell you that splost can only be used to construct the building, not to maintain it or to staff it. We already see that problem now with the museum and new Library. So to maintain these projects, the government has to dip into the general fund.. which comes from property taxes primarily. So in actuality, splosts can often have an adverse relationship on property taxes rather than offsetting them because the county will often overspend on projects via splosts because they think of it as free money.. which it isn't and fail to take into account the maintainance and staffing costs

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 09/01/11 - 07:26 pm
0
0
I hope the BOE reads these

I hope the BOE reads these posts. This is a done deal, my friends. This will fail.

augusta citizen
9939
Points
augusta citizen 09/01/11 - 09:22 pm
0
0
Thank you ECDanes, you hit

Thank you ECDanes, you hit the nail on the head, they use these SPLOSTS for special little pet projects, no planning for the future, no real accounting to anyone. Ooohh lookee here, we have some extra money! It's ridiculous, then yes, how to "keep up" the properties created from the SPLOST funds, yep, sorry raise property taxes, so all of the spiels that are used to get people to vote for SPLOST to begin with...everyone pays it, all of those people who don't pay other taxes cover it when they shop, no, in the end when it's all said and done, the same people who pay all the other taxes cover it.

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 09/01/11 - 10:48 pm
0
0
Thank you Augusta Citizen...

Thank you Augusta Citizen... as for road projects.. those should be funded via the gas tax.. not splost. Alot of people will vote for splosts because of a particluar road improvement project listed on it. But why should someone buying a pair of jeans at the gap pay for a road via splost? If you are driving on the roads then you should help pay for them via the gas tax. We all know how much the school boards just love splost money and they will label anyone against a splost as being "against education" or worse "against the children." BUt splost has little to do with funding education. All it can be used for is for constructing grandiose buildings. SPLOST cannot be used to hire more teachers or pay them a competitive salary. SPLOSTS also can't be used for maintainence of these grandiose new buildings.. so instead of money going to education, it goes to maintaining these status buildings

jbenny2010
263
Points
jbenny2010 09/14/11 - 05:50 am
0
0
Honestly, I think before you

Honestly, I think before you go ranting and raving, you should look at the attached list of improvements. Most of them are at the high schools, some of which haven't been fully renovated since they were built 50 years ago. Tour the schools with the list in hand and see what the suggested projects are. Some of them are a bit frivolous; others are completely necessary. The only high school without a new gym is Glenn Hills; that's the same gym that was built in the 60's. The bleachers are dangerously wiggly and visiting teams have to use the band and chorus rooms as locker rooms because there is only one visiting locker room. When it rains, water pours from the leaks in the roof to the point where trash cans have to be set out to catch the rain. The A/C is a joke and goes out somewhere in the bldg. every single day. You would not want your child to use the restrooms at the school in the original part; most of the faucets/toilets don't work, and mice and roaches are everywhere. It's easy to just say no, don't use these funds; but put a picture of your child in your mind and ask yourself if I would want my child to attend a school that is in the condition that many of these schools are in. Then we might have a conversation.

jbenny2010
263
Points
jbenny2010 09/14/11 - 05:54 am
0
0
Plus the state of Georgia

Plus the state of Georgia continues to cut allocations to the individual districts. The only ones getting hurt are the folks at the bottom of the pole -- children. As long as Columbia County citizens use the services of Richmond County, work in Richmond County, and then take their little fannies and tax dollars back to Columbia County, we don't have a choice but to use these sales tax dollars to help bring our schools into the 21st century.

Riverman1
90278
Points
Riverman1 09/14/11 - 05:59 am
0
0
JBenny, Richmond Cty spends

JBenny, Richmond Cty spends much more per pupil than Columbia Cty does.

seenitB4
93466
Points
seenitB4 09/14/11 - 06:01 am
0
0
If the politics in Augusta

If the politics in Augusta used your tax $$$ for the right projects instead of foolishness....you would have better schools......vote the right people in office & things will get better. imo

seenitB4
93466
Points
seenitB4 09/14/11 - 06:05 am
0
0
I wonder what they put the

I wonder what they put the money on river......(in Richmond cty).....buildings-teachers-.....where is it going......quality teaching has gone byebye.

Riverman1
90278
Points
Riverman1 09/14/11 - 06:09 am
0
0
Paying off lawsuits against

Paying off lawsuits against former superintendents.

seenitB4
93466
Points
seenitB4 09/14/11 - 06:11 am
0
0
:).....I knew you had the

:).....I knew you had the answer...

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