Commissioners to vote on Jonesborough school re-roofing

Robert Houk • Mar 24, 2019 at 5:10 PM

Washington County commissioners will vote tonight on funding requests for $600,000 to buy furniture at the new Boones Creek K-8 school and $1.1 million to replace the roof on Jonesborough Elementary School.

Both requests have been approved by the County Commission’s Budget Committee.

Buying student desks and other furniture for the new Boones Creek school is a part of the project’s overall budget, but the expenditure must be appropriated by the commission. The school, which is nearing completion, is slated to open in August.

“You sure can’t teach children in an empty classroom,” Commissioner Suzy Williams told her colleagues on the county’s Health, Education and Welfare Committee earlier this month.

Commissioners will also be asked to approve funding to replace the roof on both sections of Jonesborough Elementary School. County Director of Schools Bill 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.

“It’s spring, and we’re halfway through March,” Flanary told members of the Budget Committee on March 13. “It’s roofing season.”

Phillip Patrick, maintenance supervisor for county schools, said replacing the elementary school’s roof has been on the system’s capital list for a number of years, and noted the county’s Board of Education has made no decision regarding the fate of the round building if Scheme 6 is approved.

In other business tonight, commissioners will consider yet another extension of its option to purchase the 15-acre Joe McCoy property adjacent to Jonesborough Elementary. The county’s option to purchase the tract expires on March 31. Commissioners are being asked to extend that option to June 30.

Washington County Attorney Thomas J. Seeley III told commissioners earlier this month that 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.

Seeley said Lowe’s wishes to keep competitors from obtaining the property.

School officials say the McCoy property is key to the Scheme 6 plan approved by the BOE in October, which calls for renovating the current Jonesborough Middle School and adding about 64,000 square feet to the building. The land would be used to create a new road, and a bus loading and unloading zone at the new school.

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