Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.
BOS seek bids for school renovation, YMCA
BY PORTSIA SMITH
The Caroline County Board of Supervisors have not come to a decision on the tax rate or budget, but they have committed to renovating Bowling Green Primary School to a pre-K through fifth grade school.
The five member board voted unanimously Tuesday night to seek out proposals for a short-term borrowing of $3 million for the project.
Last month, the Virginia Department of Education announced that they would allocate $6 million in low-interest bonds to expand and renovate Bowling Green Primary, which opened in 1959.
The federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides funding for the Qualified School Construction Bonds. Criteria include school consolidation projects, facilities more than 35 years old and projects in economically stressed areas.
The $9 renovation would transform the current pre-K through second grade school into a pre-K through 5 school that would house 750 to 800 students.
To fund this project would automatically add two cents to the tax rate for the next 20 years, according to board chairman Floyd Thomas.
After completion of the project, Bowling Green Elementary, the 3-5 school on the eastern side of the county, would close and possibly house the Governor’s School or School Board office, school officials said.
The supervisors also voted 3-2 to seek cost estimates for the construction of a YMCA in Ladysmith that would not to exceed $5 million.
Supervisors Jeff Sili and Thomas voted against the motion.
Sili asked why the board would consider borrowing money for what he called a “recreational “ and “non-essential” issue.
Thomas said he would support the YMCA in Ladysmith as long as it didn’t cost the county any money. If it did cost the county anything, he would want to consider a more central location within the county.
Supervisor Wayne Acors said the YMCA would help solve the “health issue” in the county, which he said included high rates of obesity and teenage pregnancy because it would offer an after school activity for young people.
He also said the YMCA would not cost taxpayers.
“It has never been my intention that this would be paid for out of tax dollars,” Acors said. “There’s proffer money that should be dedicated to this and donations have come in.”
Acors said the county would own the YMCA building, but it would be operated by the YMCA board.
Neither item was on the board’s published agenda, but were added as a last minute amendment around 10:05 p.m. when a crowd had already dispersed.
The board of supervisors plan to meet again at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Community Services Center to discuss the proposed budget.