Funding for Jonesborough school roof OKed

Robert Houk • Mar 8, 2019 at 9:38 AM

Washington County’s Health, Education and Welfare Committee approved requests from county schools Thursday for $600,000 to buy furniture for the new Boones Creek K-8 school and $1.1 million to replace the roof on Jonesborough Elementary School.

Both requests will be heard by the county’s Budget Committee next week.

County Attorney Thomas J. Seeley III told HEW Committee members that furniture for the new school has been a part of the project’s overall budget, but the expenditure must now be appropriated by the County Commission.The Boones Creek school, which is nearing completion, is slated to open in the fall.

“You sure can’t teach children in an empty classroom,” Commissioner Suzy Williams said in making the motion to approve the purchase.

County Director of Schools Bill Flanary also asked the committee to approve funding to replace the roof on Jonesborough Elementary School. Flanary said the re-roofing project is needed regardless of what happens to the Scheme 6 plan for a new K-8 school in Jonesborough, which is now being considered by county budget officials.

Phillip Patrick, maintenance supervisor for county schools, said the Jonesborough school’s roof has been patched multiple times in the last three years.

“It’s a 80,000-square-foot building, and it won’t be usable if we don’t keep it dry,” he said.

In other business:

• The HEW Committee approved a resolution asking the County Commission for an extension on its option to purchase the 15-acre Joe McCoy property adjacent to Jonesborough Elementary School. The county’s option to purchase the tract expires on March 31. Commissioners are being asked to extend that option to June 30.

Seeley told commissioners the county is still working with attorneys to remove the legal restrictions Charlotte, N.C.-based Lowe’s Home Improvement asked to be attached to the purchase of the remaining tract when it bought its land from McCoy for its Jonesborough store more than a decade ago. He said Lowe’s wishes to keep competitors from obtaining the property.

The county’s Board of Education has said the McCoy property is an integral part of its Scheme 6 plan in Jonesborough.

• Flanary told committee members he and Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy were among a local group that met with Gov. Bill Lee and his staff earlier in the week to discuss selling the soon-to-be-vacated Boones Creek Elementary School building to the state to create a satellite campus at the site for the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton.

“That sounds very promising,” HEW Chairman Danny Edens told Flanary.

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