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New Commissioners Want To Further Discuss Issues Around Park View School

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
New Commissioners Want To Further Discuss Issues Around Park View School

Nine new Putnam County Commissioners will face a big decision out of the gates: what to do about the Park View School Project.

The school board has indicated that an additional $15 million will be needed to construct the upper grade wing. Elected Commissioner Terry Randolph said the county needs the additional classrooms, but when to build is the main question.

“Is it better to go ahead and try to afford it now while we have a number in place or do we wait and take a chance on construction costs going up in the future,” Randoph said. “It’s just a lot to think about.”

Elected Commissioner Kenny Hall will be a new face representing District four. Hall said he wants to further investigate the situation, but his initial thought is to hold off on the project.

“The enrollment was not as high as they expected,” Hall said. “Also county revenues from sales tax and things like that are higher, so there may be a way to offset some of the county expense.”

Randolph said he would still like to gather more information before deciding on funding the project. Randolph said he wants to hear more about how the old Parkview School will be used and if it could help with classroom space.

“I want to hear more information in great detail about how they are using the school,” Randolph said. “If a K-4 school is going to be sufficient when they get into that and for how long and how exactly they plan to structure their students.  There are a lot of questions that I have before I make any decisions to move forward with additional funds to build a K-8.”

The school board has indicated several times that the building needs a new roof as well as other improvements. Hall said avoiding a tax increase is his number one goal while moving through the project.

“Looking at the county’s budget, looking at the school budget, there are always places to make cuts,” Hall said. “Maybe there is enough places in there to make some cuts to help the funding of the school once the prices of materials come down.”

Randolph was a commissioner that voted for the bond to build the school. Randolph said at the time he was pleased, but the seeing the bid come in some $16 million above budgeted was a disappoint.


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