Nearly 10 months after the Jackson County Board of Education postponed building a new gym at a high school, the money still isn’t in the bank to reconsider the project.
Jackson County Comprehensive High School is slated to get a second gym, and a new chorus/drama building that will be funded with sales tax revenue. The project is expected to cost $10.6 million.
Last October, the board of education opted to delay the project until all of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) revenue was collected. That followed previous decisions to layoff employees in a budget shortfall that once included a general fund deficit for the school system.
“We’re not quite there,” superintendent Shannon Adams said Thursday about the SPLOST revenue for the JCCHS project.
Adams estimated that about $10 million is the bank account, but there are no plans for the board of education to discuss the project again soon.
Meanwhile, the state has approved the architectural plans for the project — but those remain on the shelf, Adams said.
The decision to delay this capital improvement project has NOTHING to do with the action "to layoff employees in a budget shortfall that once included a general fund deficit for the school system". By law, school systems cannot use SPLOST funds for personnel and operating expenses.
Voters approved the tax for specific building needs, and the BOE cannot co-mingle that revenue with other budgetary pressures, regardless of importance (Teacher's Salaries, Supplements, Para-Pros, supplies etc). When SPLOST revenue is sufficient to cover the cost of the facility upgrades, as voted on and approved by the BOE, there is no advantage or justification in delaying these improvement projects.