By MARINA WATERS
Washington County’s Budget Committee approved a resolution not to exceed $1.1 million to re-roof the Jonesborough Elementary School building, but held off on a design decision for the Jonesborough K-8 School project.
Washington County Schools’ Maintenance Supervisor Phillip Patrick said the school system hopes to start the project, which includes removing and replacing the existing roof, as soon as school is out. Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy asked during the Wednesday, March 13, meeting if the committee could hold off on the roofing decision until the county could hold a workshop with the Washington County Board of Education to discuss the Jonesborough K-8 School design plan, “Scheme 6”, to renovate and add on to the current Jonesborough Middle School building.
However, Washington County Director of Schools Bill Flanary told the committee that the process, which includes sending out and approving bids, is lengthy and holding off would put it all behind schedule.
“It’s a long process to get to the part where they can start construction,” Flanary said. “If it was September, I’d say no problem. We are in roofing season.”
County director of finance and administration and school board member Mitch Meredith added that the plan to re-roof the school had been on the school’s capital projects priority list for a while.
Meanwhile, Grandy mentioned that the cost for the re-roofing, which he said at one point was $700,000, had grown since then. Patrick said the cost of materials and labor had increased throughout the waiting period for a decision on the Jonesborough School project.
He also said the school board has no current plan to tear down the round portion of the elementary school, which leaves it as a county asset with or without student utilization.
“The school board has not made a decision to demolish the round building (at Jonesborough Elementary School), Patrick said, “which puts me in the position that I need to keep the building up. That’s where we are.”
Committee member Freddie Malone asked if the re-roofing project would take the capital projects fund to under $200,000. Meredith said it would, though that figure is the projected budgeted amount, meaning the funds for those projects are allocated, but are yet to be spent.
The committee didn’t discuss the Jonesborough School project design plan, which was tabled during last month’s budget committee meeting after the county’s Health, Education and Welfare Committee passed the design plan onto the budget committee. The committee plans to hold a workshop with commissioners and the school board to discuss the project on either Friday, March 29 or Monday, April 1. County officials said that meeting would be set for whichever date worked for the majority of commissioners.
The next county commission meeting — which will include the resolution to re-roof the elementary school as well as a resolution to purchase furniture for the new Boones Creek School for no more than $600,000 — will be held on Monday, March 25 at 6 p.m. at the George Jaynes Justice Center, located at 108 W Jackson Blvd., Jonesborough. To view the county’s current agenda packets and meeting calendar, go to http://www.washingtoncountytn.org/.