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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Commission Approves Funding For First Phase Of School Building Program

   Members of the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday to allow the allocation of funding for Phase 1 of a proposed school building program.

   The resolution approved calls for $240,000, or one half of the total cost, to be included in the county’s 2014-2015 fiscal year budget.

The funding is for the planning phase for the construction of new high schools in Loretto and Summertown, as proposed by the Lawrence County Board of Education.

The measure was recommended by members of the county’s Budget and School Liaison Committees.

   Included in Phase 1 is evaluation and investigation, environmental site surveys, options to purchase land, site surveys, education and space programming of facilities, schematic design, and geotechnical surveys based on a site layout plan. The total estimated cost for Phase 1 is $480,000.

   Under the resolution, “The cost of such planning would be reimbursed to Lawrence County Government from bond proceeds issued to finance” the constructions.

   Commissioner Chris Jackson, who is a member of the school board liaison committee, said Tuesday evening that he was “very proud” that commissioners approved the resolution. He said that construction of the new schools would not only be a boost for our local school system, but would be beneficial in the realm of industrial recruitment. He released the following statement:

   "We know in speaking with prospective businesses that we are losing out on bringing good jobs to our community because our school facilities are deficient and our students lack certain trade skills that businesses are looking for.

This building program will address both of these problems by making our school facilities more competitive with other areas and by offering the programs our students need in order to gain the skills needed to compete in a 21st century workforce.

While this is only a first step, it is a critical first step in the process of making our county more progressive and competitive in the future."

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