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County schools set Sept. 17 bond issue

A $3.8 million bond issue was announced by the Lincoln CountySchool Board Monday night with a special election planned for Sept.17.

The bond would essentially cover a new classroom building on theLoyd Star, Enterprise and West Lincoln campuses with an expansionto the superintendent’s office also included.

Superintendent Perry Miller said the bond is expected to meetthe district’s growth needs over the next 5-10 years.

“I don’t think we can adequately plan for more than 10 years,but I certainly believe we can plan for the next 5-10 years,” hesaid.

Jim Young, an attorney with Adams and Reese LLP, said he puttogether some rough estimates and believes a 4-5 mil tax increasewould be needed to pay for the bond.

“We’re talking about a relatively small tax raise and I’mconfident we’ll be able to stay within the four to five mils,”Young said.

The average person’s annual tax increase would not besubstantive, he said. As an example, he said a person who owned a$50,000 home and a $10,000 car could expect a tax increase ofroughly $32 a year at four mils and $40 a year at five mils.

“We’ve come a long way in Lincoln County, but we have someclassrooms that I think should be improved,” Miller said. “We canhold class, but I think the question is how much does the futuremean to you?”

A resolution passed by the board Monday authorizes Young andMiller to pursue establishing a special election for Sept. 17 topass the bond issue. To pass, 60 percent plus one of the votersmust approve the bond issue.

At Bogue Chitto Attendance Center, a planned destruction of theold Bogue Chitto School building would be continued and it would bereplaced by a cafeteria building with two classrooms.

At Enterprise Attendance Center, a new classroom building wouldbe added with eight classrooms and an office area. Four of theclassrooms would probably be used for kindergarten students.

“This will take care of the four portable classrooms we now haveand give us room for growth,” said Enterprise Principal BruceFalvey.

At Loyd Star Attendance Center, a new L-shaped classroombuilding with 14 classrooms would be built near the new sciencebuilding.

At West Lincoln Attendance Center, a new classroom building with15 classrooms and an office area would be constructed near the newlibrary and next to the parking lot.

A question arose about the bathroom facilities on the Loyd Starplan. Secretary Johnny Hart of Loyd Star asked whether enoughfacilities had been allocated for the building.

Garland Wright, of Architects, Engineers and Associates, whodesigned the buildings, said there was a trade-off to be made. Hedesigned the building with slightly less than the normal ratio oftoilets to students to make room for an additional classroombecause the campus has substantially higher toilets to studentsratio than required. He said he could replace the toilets to meetthe standard ratio, but only at the cost of a classroom.

After several minutes of discussion, board members decided thetoilet ratio was sufficient and there was more need for theadditional classroom.

Wright said he tried to keep the cost of all the buildings aslow as possible while meeting the needs the district.

“We’ve been attentive to the board’s needs for classrooms andthe teacher’s needs without trying to build a monument,” Wrightsaid. “The attention is to the students and not toappearances.”

The principals of each school were present for the meeting andexpressed their optimism and hopes for the plans.

“I think there’s a lot of anticipation (among teachers),” saidJason R. Case, principal of West Lincoln.

The other principals echoed Case’s assessment and added theteachers were appreciative of the new buildings received in thelast few years and seemed positive about the bond issue.