Floyd BoE purchases field turf, prioritizes ELOST projects

Friday, Jan. 20, 2023–12:34 p.m.

-Adam Carey, Rome News-Tribune-

The Floyd County school board approved $1.6 million to purchase turf for the athletic fields at Model and Pepperell high schools last week during a called meeting.

Floyd County Schools Director of Facilities John Worsham said the total cost is expected to be approximately $2 million per school, assuming there are no drainage or other supply chain issues.

The board reviewed an extensive list of projects, over 70 across 16 individual schools that are currently in progress or scheduled for the near future.

The highest profile projects are new field houses for Armuchee and Coosa high schools, which will also be getting new turf athletic fields, synthetic tracks and lighting with new LED lights.

With 70 different projects, scheduling is the biggest problem, especially considering schools only close for a few months a year and the athletic fields are often used year-round.

These projects are being paid for with funds from the recently approved education special purpose local option sales tax, although collections won’t start until April 1, 2024. Superintendent Glenn White said they can start construction early by drawing from their general fund balance before the education SPLOST money hits their account.

“Trust me; if we’re careful with our projects list, we can save the county a considerable amount of interest by not borrowing any money,” White said. “We’ve just got to time these things right.”

Various members of the Floyd County Board of Education requested more clarity on what projects are being prioritized, but Deputy Superintendent Jamey Alcorn reiterated that projects will progress as quickly as budgets, materials and weather cooperate.

“We’d like to have the same contractor for both field houses,” said Worsham. “That way we can have the same (project) superintendent, which saves us money. It’s these types of little details that can have a real impact on when we get started.”

“If it were up to me, we would take a bulldozer to Armuchee High School’s field house tomorrow,” said board member Chip Hood, who represents the Armuchee community. “But we’ll wait to see how things progress.”

This story is possible because of a news-sharing agreement with the Rome News-Tribune. More information can be found at northwestgeorgianews.com.

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