Tearing down and rebuilding the old portion of Moulton Elementary School is one of the construction projects the Lawrence County school board wants to pursue once the district receives its share of a recent state bond issue.
During a virtual meeting of the board last week, a financial consultant said the school district could have $12 million available for building projects through the state education bond issue and an extension of a separate local bond issue.
Brad Green, financial consultant with Raymond James, presented a couple of plans that would allow the school board to continue paying its annual $750,000 debt payment while starting the projects.
Superintendent Jon Bret Smith said the district will receive about $5 million from the $1.25 billion state education bond passed in last year's legislative session, with the funds earmarked for capital improvement projects.
He said the 2009 sales tax revenue bond will be extended, not retired, to free up an additional $6 million or $7 million to go toward the projects.
Smith said part of the elementary school was built in 1936 and is long overdue to be replaced. He also has plans to upgrade athletic facilities at each of the four high schools as well as expanding the career tech program.
He said Lawrence County High is in need of an expanded weight room and field house. “Outside work” is needed at East Lawrence High’s facilities, Smith said.
He said the board hopes to add about five classes to the career tech program with an undetermined amount of square footage.
Smith said he will continue to monitor shortfalls in tax revenue as a result of the economic slowdown related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Board member Gary Bradford was excited about the building projects and urged the board to conduct a work session about them.
“We need more details and to take a closer look at the projects,” he said at the meeting.
Smith said a work session likely would be set after the next board meeting July 6.
“We’re not going to have enough time to get the architectural drawings completed before we meet again,” Smith said.
In other business, the board approved the resignation of Patrick Mullins, who served as Hazlewood Elementary School principal this past school year. His resignation goes into effect June 30.