|County moving forward with new schools, additions|
|Wednesday, May 9, 2012|
Special to the Chronicle
Wilson County Commission approved funding for design, architectural and engineering services for additions to several local schools and for the design of a new Watertown High School at Monday night’s meeting.
The budget amendment moves $724,558 from the Wilson County School System fund balance to Capital Outlay projects fund. Of that total, $583,000 is coming from the money remaining in the $50 million bond issued for the new Lebanon High School.
“Lebanon High School is about 90 percent complete, we hope to start moving furniture in there around April,” Director of Schools Mike Davis noted.
The budget amendment was approved 24-1 with District 10 Commissioner Nathan Clariday being absent.
Wilson County Board of Education deferred contracts with architectural firms during its meeting held Monday, Feb. 6, but then approved the contracts and budget amendments during a special called meeting on Saturday, Feb. 11.
The county schools entered into contracts with Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architectural firm and CivilSite Design Group for the design of a new Watertown High School. Also, the funding goes toward designs for additions to West Wilson Middle School, West Elementary School and a new K-2 building adjacent to Rutland Elementary.
The $583,000 being drawn from the LHS bond issue is money left over after the board has allocated all expenditures. Several commissioners were concerned the money would be needed before the school is complete.
“I’ve helped build three schools and I’ve never had one go as smoothly as this,” Davis told the commission about LHS.
In his report, Davis said construction crews are completely finished hanging drywall throughout the building, adding they are working on ceramic tile and installation of ceiling tiles, and painting is still in progress.
Also, the commission approved joining the National Association of Counties, or NACo, which District 13 Commissioner Clint Thomas said provides many services and opportunities the county can take advantage of in the future.
“They focus on the national level, they help craft legislation that will affect counties locally,” Thomas said.
He noted that Wilson County can also be a part of a group of counties that will influence legislation that is sent to the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, giving the county a hand in laws that affect local governments.
Thomas said the membership dues are based on the county’s population and said the county is only paying $1,653 for a year’s membership.
There are also opportunities for the county to make a small amount of money from the membership, which Thomas said includes a prescription medicine card that all county citizens can obtain and use to purchase their over-the-counter medicines.
While the cards aren’t available yet and won’t arrive in the county for several weeks, Thomas said all county residents are eligible to use the card. When anyone uses it to purchase a prescription, Thomas said the county would receive $1 back from the transaction.
“It could more than pay for itself with that alone,” Thomas said.
The membership was approved by a vote of 24-1, with Clariday’s absence.