Upgrades made at county schools
LEDGER – The summer has been a busy time for school upgrades around Mitchell County.
Mitchell High School has been the beneficiary of extensive updates, many of which are cosmetic and safety-related.
Mitchell High’s latest round of projects, which utilize $250,000 of grant-in-aid appropriation, should be completed by the end of August, said Kim Hodshon, Mitchell County Schools Executive Director of Facilities.
In addition to the grant-in-aid funds, Mitchell High accounts for $297,423 of the school system’s capital fund budget. Gouge Elementary carries the second-highest capital fund budget at $100,900. Bowman Middle ($37,590), Harris Middle ($30,225), Deyton Elementary ($28,350) and Greenlee Primary ($10,425) also have projects covered by the capital fund budget completed or underway this summer.
Projects at the Central Office in Ledger ($21,387), maintenance costs ($12,500) and transportation ($10,900) round out the capital fund budget, which calls for $549,700 for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
Mitchell High’s grant-in-aid projects include tinting of windows in the library and commons, new cafeteria tables, updated seating alcoves, a new trophy case, safety mats at the front doors, renovations to bathrooms and new floor coverings on two staircases in the gym.
The press box at the football field will be renovated and should be completed by the end of August and wiring for access to cameras at the athletic field house will also be in place in time for the school year.
Mitchell High also now has an exceptional children activity center, which accounted for $45,000 of the grant-in-aid funds.
Hodshon said the school system wanted to focus on projects at the high school that couldn’t be completed using capital funds.
“These were things that we wouldn’t have been able to take capital funds and do,” Hodshon said. “We have to focus those funds more on infrastructure and building needs, so you don’t have leaks and that kind of stuff.”
Hodshon added if school systems utilize the grant-in-aid funds wisely, the chances of receiving more aid in the future are higher.
“That’s why I wanted visibility,” Hodshon said. “I could have used $250,000 and tied it into an electrical project, but no one would have known. I wanted the public to see it; we wanted them to be able to see the actual projects.”
Gouge Elementary’s capital fund budget covers office renovations, parking lot paving and resurfacing of the play area behind the school. Bowman Middle will get new security cameras and a door-entry system, new roofing in the auditorium library and a freshly poured sidewalk under the awning next to the gym. The bulk of Harris Middle’s capital fund budget ($21,000) will go to repairs to the auditorium roof, and more than half of Deyton Elementary’s funds ($20,000) will go toward asbestos abatement on the tile in the library. Almost all of Greenlee Elementary’s capital funds will go toward safety, with $5,225 going toward keyless entry for two doors, $2,350 paying for steps from the lower parking lot to the upper parking lot and $2,300 for surveillance cameras. The remaining $550 will go toward roof repairs.
A large chunk of Mitchell High School’s capital funds ($161,087) is for the 1:1 laptop payment with Apple. The county handles the 1:1 payments for the rest of the county’s schools.
Also built into Mitchell High’s capital budget is $40,000 for wooden structures on the baseball and softball fields, $20,000 for fencing and other upgrades to the new exceptional children’s activity center and $10,000 for the steps at the football stadium to be re-poured.