A crowd of about 50 people gathered at Homestead School Tuesday evening to learn about potential renovations and additions to community schools and how those improvements will affect pocketbooks.
Randolph County Schools Superintendent Dr. James Phares showed a break-down of proposed construction projects at the school. Upgrades to the interior include new wall and ceiling updates, new plumbing, a new heating and air conditioning system, new lighting, a fire alarm, a communication system, new restrooms, a sprinkler system and asbestos abatement. Additions to the school include new stairwells and an elevator.
The cost for the proposed project is $3,462,401. Phares said the board is seeking a bond proposal on the November ballot for $13 million, which would be used for school upgrades and repairs.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Randolph County School Superintendent Dr. James Phares addresses teachers, parents and community members at Homestead Elementary Tuesday evening about the proposed community school improvements and renovations. Phares advised residents to attend one of the bond meetings to hear the facts and make an informed decision, taking into consideration their own pocketbooks.
Phares said the idea for these upgrades came from forums held in 2009 when he asked residents, parents, grandparents and teachers three things.
"I asked folks what they value in their community schools, what changes they would like to see in the community schools and what they were willing to do to see those changes," Phares said. "We found these folks value their community schools, they value the feeling of family in these schools and that the kids are what this is really about."
Phares said people asked him to help them save their community schools.
"Homestead is an 'I can' school," Phares said. "Teachers work hard and they love their students."
Phares said he is not going to ask anyone to vote for the bond.
"I do not know how much gas or groceries are going to cost in November," Phares said.
"I am asking you to get the facts and make a decision based on that. You need to know the information and make your own decision."
Phares said all of the information about the upgrades, his presentation and a tax calculator are available at www.informationonthebondcall.com.
When some of those in attendance Tuesday asked about how to help, Phares had some suggestions.
"Sit down with people and have a conversation about this issue," Phares said. "Show them the facts."
Attendee Chelley Depp said she thought the meeting was very informative.
"I think we were given the concrete facts so we can make a decision based on that information," Depp said. "You can't ask for anything more than that."
Contact Beth Christian Broschart by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.