School Building Plans on hold

BOE ask for dollar figure from Commission

By: Pat Hunter

Dec. 6, 2009

At the Nov.12, 2009 Loudon County Board of Education meeting, school board member Leroy Tate requested adding an item to the agenda. The school board unanimously approved Tate's request.  Tate said that he had spoken with BOE member Bobby Johnson, Jr. about the meeting that was held with Merit Construction. Johnson Jr. is the chairman of the building/maintenance committee. Merit Construction was selected by the school board to oversee Phase 1, $47 Million school building plan.

According to Tate, Merit personnel had recommended that the school board obtain a dollar figure before moving forward with the school building plan.

Tate made a motion that Mr. Honeycutt (school director) get with the County Mayor and his governing body and bring back a number so the school board would know what they could fund so the school board could proceed with the school building plan. The motion was seconded by school board member Lisa Russell, which was unanimously approved by the school board. There was no discussion about Tate's motion. 



At the subsequent Nov. 16th commission workshop meeting, Commissioner Austin Shaver gave an update about funding the proposed school building plan. He gave a handout with various funding scenarios of how to fund the school building plan without a property tax increase. Commissioner Don Miller favored Commission taking the school building project to bid but this could cost as  much as $1.5 Million. The school board has already spent $1 Million on school drawings. One big concern is what will happen if bids go out but then commission decides not to fund the entire $47 Million school building plan, what then? Does that mean that more hard earned taxpayer money will be spent for plans to sit on a shelve?     

The school board has asked school director Honeycutt to get with the mayor and funding body and ask how much money commission will approve for the school building plan. Director Honeycutt was out of town the day of the commission workshop meeting but this matter was not brought up by deputy school director Vance and this matter is not on the commission agenda.