The County School Board on Thursday approved hiring consultants for an assessment of the condition of the 79 county schools, despite the objection of board member Rhonda Thurman.
Ms.Thurman said the assessment would cost close to half a million dollars. She said that money would be better used addressing some of the needs.
She said, "We don't the problems at the schools. We don't need somebody from outside to come in and tell us. This should be the job of our staff."
Board member Tucker McClendon said he has been finding "shocking" conditions in county school buildings. He said he welcomes the assessment.
Supt. Bryan Johnson said the cost equates to $6,500 per school building. He said, "It is prudent to have experts come in and help Justin and his team."
The approval was to retain the services of MGT Consulting Group with a lump sum fee of $337,915 for the building assessment. Also, the board will retain the services of Franklin Architects with a lump sum fee of $33,500 for the schematic security upgrade solutions. Additional services will be approved on an hourly rate as provided in the RFP responses.
The assessment is due to be complete by the end of June.
The vote was 6-2 with Joe Smith also opposed.