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Leaders want $22M over five years for school facilities

Members of the Washington County Board of Education Facilities Committee voted last week to recommend a $22 million list of needs to the county commission’s Joint Education Committee.
Director of Schools Ron Dykes reviewed priorities throughout the system that will be required within the next five years.
Dykes said he received a formal request from the Joint Education Committee for an updated list, and Chair Chad Williams asked if it should be turned in with the budget.
The budget won’t be ready by the committee’s April 9 meeting, Dykes said, but still recommended submitting the needs list since it was requested.
“I think we need to let them know we agreed our priorities would be in the elementary schools,” Williams said.
Short-term fixes are the items Dykes said he thinks the commission wants to consider.
“I need to make you aware of the needs at Boones Creek Middle School,” Dykes told the Facilities Committee. “Often, when renovations are made, others come up that relate to the Americans with Disabilities regulations, and it becomes a buildingwide renovation.”
The estimated $10 million renovation of Boones Creek Middle School includes the removal of two wings; the addition of 18 classrooms, a cafeteria and kitchen, and a gymnasium; and the replacement of the electrical, heat, air and alarm systems.
A roof replacement for Boones Creek Middle School at $240,000 appears later in the list, and board member Keith Ervin suggested the costs relating to individual schools be combined.
Dykes said the costs need to stay separated because there is no choice in completing some of the projects, such as a new roof within the next two years.
Other prioritized needs include: two immediate roof replacements for Jonesborough Elementary and Midway schools at a total cost of $800,000; a roof replacement within the next two years at Boones Creek Elementary School for $686,000; replacement of doors and hardware at Gray School for $231,000; an HVAC heat pump, boiler and cooling tower, and a roof replacement at West View for a total cost of $5.5 million; and a replacement of the sewer treatment plant at David Crockett High School for $500,000.
A parking lot expansion at the bus garage for $188,000 is listed as a medium priority, and one of the low priority items is a $16,000 refurbishing of the Jonesborough Middle School lockers.
BOE Chair Clarence Mabe said the county commission may be willing to issue another bond to cover some of the costs.
Board member Todd Ganger made a motion to accept the prioritized five-year facilities needs list and present it to the Joint Education Committee. The motion was seconded by board member Bill Brinkley and passed unanimously.