“There were those who said, ‘You weren’t more specific in your (special-purpose local-option sales tax) list.’ With a plan, we could have showed what we’d do for five or six years,” Pugh said at the school board meeting. “Another criticism of us … is we don’t really know if we needed Cannon Street,” which was closed earlier this year as a cost-saving measure.
The school board Thursday approved the assessment of the system’s total 2.3 million square feet of space. The job will be done by Carter Real Estate, an Atlanta company that specializes in K-12 facility planning.
The company will use on-site visits and growth projections to rank schools in a facility condition index comparing the cost of renovations to the cost of replacing the facility, said Danny Jardine, senior vice president of the company.
The assessment, which will plan for the classroom of the future, and use faculty and community feedback to mold the master plan, could be completed by January.
The school board approved the $68,000 assessment.
“I realize that’s a lot of money, but it is 2.9 cents per square foot,” Pugh said, saying the plan is an investment in long-term planning.
Pugh said data from a facility assessment will help with any future decisions about school usage or renovations.
“I realize we’re having a discussion at the edge of our comfort zone about facility assessment and long-term planning,” he said. “And whatever decision we make, we’ll be criticized. I don’t mind being criticized for making this recommendation.”
Also Thursday the board approved changes to the student behavior code to include a section on cyberbullying.
The cyberbullying addition includes a section about how far-reaching the board’s jurisdiction is when dealing with the issue.
Any cyberbullying that occurs using the school’s electronics or system is punishable. Also included in the jurisdiction is use of personal electronics to cyberbully on school property.
Students found guilty of a third offense of bullying or cyberbullying would be referred to a hearing before the disciplinary hearing tribunal. A student found guilty at the tribunal would be assigned to the alternative school.
Also discussed at Thursday evening’s meeting were:
n The purchase of three new buses with the help of more than $200,000 in state funding;
n An extension of the Junior ROTC programs at Callaway and Troup County high schools; and
n A resolution confirming the election results regarding the education special-purpose local-option sales tax.
Matt Chambers can be reached at mchambers@ lagrangenews. com or (706) 884-7311, Ext. 228.