Houston County Schools Wish List Put On Hold

By: Ryan Rodig Email
By: Ryan Rodig Email

Improvements are needed for Houston County Schools. The examples are numerous.

"Family and Consumer Science building at Cottonwood, you could stick your hand through the wall with what the termites have done," Superintendent Tim Pitchford said Monday. "I mean, it is just sad."

But due to the questionable financial market, it might be even more sad that many needed projects can not be done anytime soon.

Here is a look at the list the Board is contemplating:

-- A $1.3 million eight-classroom expansion for Rehobeth Elementary
-- A $678,400 media center and administration building for Rehobeth Elementary.
-- A $1.3 million eight-classroom expansion for Rehobeth High.
-- A $686,720 music building for Rehobeth High.
-- A $861,000 P.E. building for Rehobeth High.
-- A $8.5 million new K-5 building for Wicksburg High.
-- A $15.9 million new high school building for Wicksburg High.
-- A $861,400 new P.E. building for Wicksburg High.
-- A $3.9 million Houston County Career and Technical Center.
-- $1.4 million for a new football field at Rehobeth High.
-- A $99,540 media center addition to Ashford Elementary.
-- A $579,000 addition to Ashford High's cafeteria.
-- A $686,720 music building for Ashford High.
-- A $566,400 P.E. building for Ashford High.
-- A $78,760 parking lot for Ashford High.
-- A $769,792 family and consumer science building for Cottonwood High.

As you can see from the list improvements are needed to music, P.E. and media centers at multiple schools. Pitchford says most of the needs come from areas more heavily populated.

"A school at Wicksburg? I had hoped to break ground on that 6 months ago," said Pitchford. "But now because of the economy we are in a holding pattern. But I am positive. This is a great country we live in, and we are going to come back. This country is going to come back."

At Monday's board meeting Matt Parker of Joe Jolly Associates said it was probably not possible for the schools to get a bond issue of $20-25 million right now to complete all projects.

But the board will continue to move forward, free of cost, to be ready when borrowing times are more favorable. A day that cannot come soon enough for them.

"We've got some safety issues where students are getting into cars and buses and being transported back and forth to class," Pitchford says. "Because some of there classes are off-campus at another school. We have got to address that. You can not put a price tag on safety issues."

Pitchford says the district denies 200-300 transfers a year because it cannot accommodate the growth at its schools.

Houston County Schools currently has $5 million on hand to finance building projects currently.

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