A penny sales tax is about to expire in Covington County. The 18-month levy provided some $4 million for the three districts in the county. Opp school officials are lobbying hard for the county to "renew" the tax.
A sagging roof has led to water leaks, and classroom damage at South Highlands Elementary in Opp.
Superintendent Earl Weeks would like to replace the 50-year-old school.
But a portion of the funding was to come from a countywide one-cent sales tax which is set to expire on December 31.
"We had hoped that it would jump start the school construction. We’ll have to push that back to see if it happens in Opp," said Superintendent Weeks.
The 18-month penny sales levy has provided a total of $4 million divided between the Opp city, Andalusia city, and Covington County school districts. Opp received one-and-a-half million.
"It is one of the older schools, built in the 50s. It has seen great students and a lot of education has taken place between these walls. But it's time for something new for our students and community," said Principal Brett Kinsaul of South Highlands Elementary.
The support staff, especially the custodians make sure the water leaks don't pose danger to the students and faculty.
"I will take carpet and place it over the water and teachers will put trash baskets down to catch the water coming into the classrooms and hallway," said Veronica Hines.
School officials in all three affected districts say they will continue to lobby to keep the one-cent sales tax.
If the one-cent levy expires, the sales tax will revert back to eight-percent in Covington County beginning New Year’s Day.
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