THE HUNTER REPORT
COMMISSION SAYS NO - $5 MILLION REQUEST
THE REST OF THE STORY ... SCHOOL BOARD'S SHORT TERM MEMORY
BY: PAT HUNTER
Outstanding construction issues remain with the new $1.6 million Philadelphia School cafeteria project renovation; nonetheless, in the midst of a $43 million school building program, director Jason Vance went before the Capital Projects Committee and Commission (Nov. 2012) workshop. Director Jason Vance requested $11 million for additional school renovations. Although, the Capital Projects Committee spoke favorably to Vance's request, this matter did not go before the Budget Committee for a vote or recommendation before being placed on the Dec. 3 commission meeting agenda by Commissioner Sharon Yarbrough, spouse of school board member Gary Ubben.
Based on numerous comments made at the commission workshop meeting, it was apparent that commissioners were not enthusiastic about giving the school board more money at this time since the school board has yet to complete two pending school building projects e.g. new Ft. Loudon Middle School, new Greenback School.
After the three building projects exceeded the original budget of $43 million and director Vance was forced into scaling back ($1.5 million) from both projects. Although, co joining Loudon Elementary and Ft. Loudon Middle School was part of Phase 1, the school board set aside the project. According to school board records ... "The original plan was to renovate the old middle school connecting them with an administrative/student services building and corridor. Much of this work needs to be delayed until the new middle school is ready."
Moreover, the original proposed estimate for the LES-FLM project was $3 million but now its up to $5 million.
Loudon County Commission voted not to give the school board $5 million at this time.
Loudon County Board of Education - records