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.
School board to ask BOS for $2.5 million to complete BGP renovation
The Caroline County School Board made nearly $1 million in cuts towards the renovation of Bowling Green Primary School, but are still $2.5 million short of what’s needed to fund the project.
The board met Monday night to discuss what parts of the project they could put off or do without. Some of those cuts include:
- delaying opening the school until Summer 2013
- eliminating paved parking and access road for Maintenance building
- using a pre-engineered building for the gym
- deleting 1,300 square-feet of a new addition
- deleting exterior basketball goals at play areas
- deleting courtyard landscaping contingency
- and other electrical engineering changes.
Those cuts total to $922,000 in savings, but won’t cover the $12 million bill.
The board decided the only way to close the gap is to ask the board of supervisors for the rest of the money.
“If you don’t ask, you don’t get,” said Mattaponi District school board member Wendell Sims.
The School Board has only $9 million to complete the project, and an additional half-million dollars is needed for architectural fees.
In March, the Virginia Department of Education announced that it 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 Board of Supervisors borrowed $3 million earlier this year to contribute to the renovation.
Funding this project added about 2 cents to the real-estate tax rate for the next 20 years, according to board Chairman Floyd Thomas.
The school board and a capital improvement project committee pondered a list of $2.6 million in cuts, but didn’t want to build a school that didn’t meet the needs of the students.
“If we make all these cuts, [the] Bowling Green [school] won’t be equal to the western side of the county and that’s unfair to the people on this side of the county,” Reedy Church school board member Valerie Fells said.
Superintendent Greg Killough and school board Chairman Mack Wright Jr. will make the $2.5 million request at the supervisor’s next meeting on Nov. 1.