City school system eyes additional improvements

Published 5:39 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2018

With a new school year right around the bend, Elizabethton City Schools has a bevy of projects being tabbed for the coming months.

City Council has a measure on their agenda for Thursday in the form of a request by the system to use $275,000 from excess sales tax money for a variety of projects ranging from school safety, fitness and bolstering the curriculum. The measure is up for a first reading before Council.

In a letter addressed to Council, Director of Schools Dr. Corey Gardenhour indicated a bulk of the funding would go toward renovations at Elizabethton High School to accommodate the growing Bartleby Program.

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“Our goal will be to make renovations to the existing building to create six new classrooms,” Gardenhour stated. “This will help facilitate growth for our program as it will grow this year from 40 students to over 400 students.”

The overall total for the project at the school is $325,000 but Gardenhour indicated the system received a donation to offset some of the cost. Of the amount asked for, the director said $150,000 of the $275,000 will go toward the project.

Another project being eyed by the school system is work to the old hospital property located near the high school on Rogosin Drive. In the request, Gardenhour indicated $50,000 would be used for grading and seeding, approximately $10,000 would be used to provide water to the area and $25,000 would be used for permits, architect fees and signage. The remaining $40,000 would be used to address the roof at the system’s central office.

“We appreciate your willingness to work with us to make Elizabethton City Schools the best school system in our area,” the director said.

Gardenhour also thanked Council for funding student resource officers at all of the schools within the district. The director noted that the system could potentially be in line for roughly $75,000 from Gov. Bill Haslam’s safety initiative if approved in August. If approved, Gardenhour added the system would contribute the money to the Elizabethton Police Department and city to help with the start-up costs for the program.

“These are one-time monies. The estimate of recurring monies is about $16,000 which can be put toward a salary if we are funded each year,” Gardenhour said. “Currently, we receive about $13,000 which is part of our match for one of our officers. A total of $29,000 of recurring dollars should be available if the estimates are accurate.”