Board may allow new committee to evaluate all county school facilities

Published 9:45 am Friday, February 13, 2015

A new committee tasked with taking stock of all county school facilities could soon begin work, pending approval by the Carter County Board of Education.

During a workshop session for the board on Thursday, Chairman Rusty Barnett reported to fellow board members about the new committee.

“We’ve had it in the past,” Barnett said, adding he felt the committee was once again needed.

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The Facilities/Capital Improvement Planning Committee would visit and evaluate all of the county schools and facilities. From those evaluations, the committee would compile and draft lists of needs and propose a plan of action to address them, Barnett said. Those needs would be classified into three categories – immediate, short term and long term, he added.

“I thought it would be a good idea to get the county commission involved,” Barnett said. “Without the taxpayers and the county commission, we can’t move forward. So we are taking that first step in reaching out to them.”

The formation of the committee comes after the 2014-15 budget process when the school system sought funding from the county for the construction of a new middle school in the Stoney Creek Community. During that process, some county representatives questioned the needs of the other schools and asked if a comprehensive plan was in place to address those needs.

If approved, the new committee would include school board members Craig Davis, Tony Garland and Barnett as well as Director of Schools Kevin Ward and Maintenance Supervisor Phillip Nave.

It would also include four county commissioners, Mike Hill and Danny Ward, who both serve on the Education Committee, and John Lewis and Ross Garland, members of the Budget Committee.

Davis would serve as chairman of the new committee.

Receiving approval by the Board of Education is the only thing step remaining before the committee can get to work.

“I’m going to put this under ‘new business’ on the agenda and we can vote on it at the next board meeting,” Barnett said.