City Commission to visit Rome Middle School Monday

Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023–12:00 p.m.

David Crowder, WRGA News

Rome City Commissioners will visit Rome Middle School Monday, as discussions continue regarding a bond issue to fund the construction of a new facility.

Commissioners will meet with school system staff and architects during the visit, which will take place prior to the commission’s regularly scheduled meeting.

Some Rome City Commissioners started asking questions and expressing concerns about the price tag of the project, which is an estimated $119 million.

The latest special purpose, local option sales tax for education approved by voters in 2022 is only projected to raise a little over $50 million, which means it would take three more ELOSTs to pay back the bonds.

A rendering of the new Rome Middle School design

Superintendent Eric Holland was asked to provide more information to see if there were any other options.

Southern A&E Architects prepared two studies that look at using the existing site instead of moving to the new site across Veterans Memorial Highway.

Both options would still need more than one ELOST, with one option costing nearly as much as the proposed new facility.

The architects also cited potential increased construction costs due to contractors having to be on-site for longer due to the phased approach and possible fluctuations in the cost of construction materials.

According to both studies, using the existing site will not improve, and could potentially make worse, issues with traffic by doubling the number of students and staff. Other issues include having a disconnected campus, no room for future growth, and no space for additional parking.

City Commissioners will meet at Rome City Hall at 4:30 p.m. Monday and then take a trolley to the school.

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