Elkin schools ‘knocking off’ capital projects

By Andy Winemiller - awinemiller@civitasmedia.com

DOBSON — The Elkin City Schools will have soon “knocked off” two priority capital projects identified in a facilities study, according to one school official.

With Elkin Superintendent Dr. Randy Bledsoe unable to attend, the district’s chief finance officer, Jan Zachary, told Surry County commissioners during a recent meeting that her school system is making headway toward taking care of capital needs.

Zachary asked commissioners for permission to reallocate leftover funds from a roof project at the elementary school. Commissioners had allocated about $592,000 toward the project. However, only about $332,000 was used. Another $39,890 was used for a roof project at the district’s administrative office.

“We would like to use the remaining $219,729 in funds to replace our middle school HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and lighting and to add an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)-compliant lift to the stage of Dixon Auditorium,” wrote Zachary in her request to commissioners.

Zachary said the two projects are important to the district, referencing a 2014 facilities study.

“We can’t fund items one and three, so we are going to knock off two and four,” noted Zachary.

Zachary was referencing an HVAC project at Elkin Elementary School and a lighting project at the school as “items one and three.”

Other larger projects identified in the study, which have yet to be funded by the county board, include a nearly $6 million project to renovate the gymnasium at the high school and a “critical systems” renovation at the elementary school which would cost more than $4 million.

Commissioners opted, by way of a unanimous vote, to allow the district to reallocate the funds and move forward with the projects.

Like the county’s two other school systems, Elkin also asked for increased funding in the upcoming fiscal year. The district’s funding requests are based on a projected enrollment (ADM) of 956 students. The district is requesting an increase in “current expenses” from $1,090 per pupil to $1,175, equating to an $81,260 increase in funding.

A proposed “capital outlay” increase from $110 to $150 per student will cost the county an additional $38,240 if approved by commissioners.

Zachary said additional funds will be necessary to help fund a teacher salary increase for which the governor and some lawmakers have called and any benefits associated with pay raises such as retirement matches.

The finance officer also noted the district may lose funding for one teacher position as a result of declining enrollment.

Proposed uses for monies allocated by the county also include the purchase of an activity bus at the cost of about $98,000, and $103,000 for a keyless entry system at the district’s facilities.

By Andy Winemiller


Andy Winemiller may be reached at 336-415-4698.

Andy Winemiller may be reached at 336-415-4698.

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