All public school systems are required each year to submit plans summarizing capital projects – new buildings, building additions, renovations, and major maintenance/replacement projects (e.g. HVAC systems and roofs) – that will be completed during the period.
Both county systems, Oneonta City and Blount County, have prepared these reports and are preparing to submit them. The plan for Oneonta City Schools (page 3) was recently approved by the city school board. Next week, the Blount County Schools plan will have been approved by the county school board and will be printed here in its final form.
The list of projects shown should remain fairly stable over the years, but could change with changes in school system circumstances, such as significant cost or revenue changes, like the fire at J. B. Pennington in the case of the county system, requiring significant financial resources to restore the school to its full mission capacity.
Concerning the five-year plan, Oneonta City Board of Education chairman Patrick Adams noted that it is an annual requirement of the Alabama Department of Education. He said the information provided is very general, the board doesn’t have specific intentions to act on any of them at any particular time, and the priority order could change, based on current and future revenue options.
“There are small capital projects we can take on with current capital dollars, Adams said, “but we also know we may have significant expenditures associated with our HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) system. Our strategy now, based on current capital funding, is to maintain funds to address a significant expenditure such as a major HVAC replacement or other unforeseen large expenditure. We currently don’t have the funding to address larger capital projects such as the need for additional classrooms noted during the last Board meeting.” (Interim Superintendent Tim Nabors reported at the board meeting that further enrollment in grades 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 10 was closed due to the lack of classroom capacity.)