Lake Forest Middle School Solution Still Far In The Future

Monday, September 30, 2013

Bradley County Commissioners and County School Board members went over the options on Monday for upgrading the problem-ridden Lake Forest Middle School, but any solution seems far in the future.

Vice Chairman Adam Lowe, who heads the education committee, noted that the only solution to getting the job done now is "to raise taxes." He said, "That's not going to happen."

With county bonds tied up on the Wacker project and setting up a new industrial park, the first time bond funds become available is January 2017, commissioners said. Work could possibly begin six months before then.

The commission earlier approved a resolution providing $12 million for the project as soon as the funds are available. But School Board member Charlie Rose said that may not be enough. He noted that there are 11 buildings that must be knocked down and removed before a new classroom section is built.

Commissioner Lowe said if the full board feels the amount should be higher, then it should pass a resolution to that effect and send it on to the commission.

The initial estimate had been $14 million, but it was scaled to $12 million by leaving out any furnishings.

School Board member Troy Weathers said the cost will rise by 15 percent due to inflation by the time bond funds come available.

Commissioner Jeff Yarber said of the commission resolution, "We need to call it what it is - a lot of if the stars align and if a little fairy dust gets sprinkled on it."

He noted that there may be considerable turnover on the commission, and the next commission may have different ideas.

Commissioner Yarber said passing the resolution for a project so far in the future "was like my family saying, 'In two years if we have enough money, we'll go to Disney.' "


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