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$8M city school bond up for vote Tuesday

The Brookhaven School District’s $8 million bond issue is on the ballot today. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at four locations — Alexander Junior High, Brookhaven High School, Brookhaven Elementary and Lipsey Middle School.

The district plans to use the funds for facilities upgrades and improvements to safety and security systems at schools. In order to pass, 60 percent of the votes must be must cast in favor of the proposition.

The district recently paid off a $5.3 million bond note, and the proposed $8 million bond would not cause a tax increase, according to school officials.

“The bond, if passed, will not require a tax increase for members of the community and will allow for much needed safety and security upgrades at all schools,” Superintendent Ray Carlock said in a written statement. “In light of the uncertainty in the world today, as seen in recent violent acts in schools across the country, we must show our community that we are committed to ensuring the safety of our students and faculty in the Brookhaven School District at all times.”

“The notion here is as the old one is paying off you just come on with the new one to take care of the current needs without raising the mills on taxpayers. That’s what a lot of districts have been doing successfully,” bond attorney Jim Young said.

About $500,000 would be spent to upgrade security. The rest of the money would be used for upgrades to facilities, including the addition of classrooms.

Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield said he expects no more than 2,000 votes to be cast today.

Where to vote:

• Precincts Alexander, East Lincoln, Fair River, Forestry and Government Complex will vote at Alexander Junior High auditorium.

• Precincts Brookhaven High School, Pearlhaven, Big Springs, Heucks Retreat, Brignall/Rogers Circle, Montgomery, Little Bahalia and New Sight will vote at BHS gymnasium.

• Precincts City Hall, Enterprise, Ole Brook and Johnson Grove will vote at Brookhaven Elementary School auditorium.

• Precincts Halbert Heights, Lipsey Middle School, Old Red Star, Vaughn, Zetus and Loyd Star will vote at Lipsey Middle School gymnasium.

How will the money be used?

The following is the list presented to the Board of Trustees recently. Carlock’s wish list includes renovations of all district bathrooms and new playground equipment, but those were not included.

Brookhaven Elementary

• Classroom addition — four classrooms, maintenance/security space and bathrooms with connector walk

• Cafeteria/kitchen — remodel to provide for another serving line with same or enlarged cafeteria dining space

• New air handlers

• Auditorium roof repair with stage repair

Mamie Martin Elementary

• Replace main chiller

• Replace small chiller — front classroom (or split system units)

• Parking lot — pave existing lot behind school

• Rework window covers on Building D

• Replace covered walkway to main entrance

• Enclose walkway to cafeteria

Lipsey Middle

• Classroom addition — four to five classrooms

• New classroom air handlers

• Security barrier at location of chillers and trailer (on northeast corner of campus)

• Security barrier at front of courtyard

Alexander Junior High

• Replace auditorium chiller

• New air handlers

• Parking lot — pave existing area across from main entrance

• Expand field house — lockers, coaches’ office and toilets

• Covered walkway for bus pickup

Fannie Mullins Alternative

• Pave parking lot in front of building (west side)

• Provide cover at technology building loading dock

Brookhaven High

• Science building — replace chiller/boiler

• Reroof science building, band building and auditorium

• Renovate band hall

• Add new building on practice field at north side of East Congress Street to replace existing band practice trailers

• East-side covered walkway and cafeteria courtyard awning

• King Field — new bathrooms under bleachers

• New covered walk from technical center to high school with King Field entry

• Demolition of abandoned buildings around campus

Brookhaven Technical Center

• New covered walk to high school

Maintenance

• New 60-foot-by-100-foot warehouse to use as a storage facility for copy paper, custodial cleaning supplies and district school supplies (controlled environment is required for some of these materials, but not all)

• Demolition of existing facility for parking

Transportation

• Shop fans

• Once existing maintenance warehouse is replaced, the current building will be demolished and used for parking

General system-wide projects and needs

• Lighting upgrades

• General electrical upgrades

• Plumbing upgrades — reduce water usage in toilet fixtures

• Door maintenance and repairs

• Property demolition — three buildings on East Congress Street and one on North Second Street

System-wide security enhancements:

• Perimeter security

• Campus access points

• Lighting

• Surveillance systems