CCBOE approves more than $8M in campus improvement projects

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The Cullman County School Board is seen at its meeting Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman County Board of Education (CCBOE) on Tuesday afternoon approved more than $8 million in campus improvement projects to be funded by a state bond issued through the Public School and College Authority (PSCA).

The PSCA-funded projects include:

  • Hanceville Elementary School classroom and lunchroom addition, estimated at $4.8 million
  • Good Hope Middle School gymnasium, estimated at $2.8 million
  • Cold Springs High School and Elementary School lunchroom expansion, estimated at $330,000
  • West Point High School and Elementary School lunchroom expansion and roof, estimated at $550,000

 

Excess PSCA funds will be used for energy saving projects already included in the current CCBOE capital plan. More projects can be added as additional PSCA funds are approved.

Under Alabama Act 2020-167, PSCA funds can be used for “projects that include the planning, designing, inspection, purchasing, construction, reconstruction, enlargement, improvement, repair, or renovation of permanent buildings containing classrooms, offices, libraries, laboratories, clinical or teaching facilities, dormitories, vocational and professional and industrial training facilities, cafeterias, alternative schools, physical education facilities, research facilities, academic structures to reduce portable classrooms or substandard classroom facilities, related improvements and land as sites therefore, together with tangible personal property that becomes a permanent part of such facilities.”

After the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette told The Tribune, “Some of those items were not on our capital plan because we didn’t have the funding to do that. But once the bond passed, now we’ve got to move them up. We’ve talked about most of them in the past, but now they’re going to become a reality.

“We’re real excited, and as we get the conceptual drawings for each of those projects, we’ll be releasing those to the public a little bit at a time, but they’re in the early stages and we’re just filing the paperwork with the (Alabama) State Department (of Education) so we can get them started. The great thing is, we have some local funds that we’ve been setting aside; we’re finishing a project at Holly Pond, and we’ve actually got some money to put on new roofs- those are coming, too.”

Barnette said that contracts for the roofing projects should be signed this week.

Family leave extended

The board also voted to extend leave for teachers and staff under the COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Families First Coronavirus Response Act until March 31, 2021. According to CCBOE Chief School Financial Officer Ed Roberson, federal regulations- unless changed- will not permit an extension beyond that point.

The CCBOE will meet next on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021 in the central office board room, with a work session at 3:30 p.m. and regular meeting following immediately after. The public is invited to attend, subject to occupancy restrictions.

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com