A joint meeting was held between the
Alexander County Board of Commissioners, the Alexander County Board of Education, and the
Town of Taylorsville Board of Commissioners on
CALL TO ORDER
Alexander Chairman Darrell Robertson called the meeting to
Alexander Chairman Robertson explained that this meeting was an opportunity for each board to get together to discuss problems and issues and to allow for better communication.
Jack Hoke, Superintendent, stated
that the School System and student achievement had been the best ever this past year. Mr. Hoke also noted that
School Districts Schools Students Mobiles Mobiles/1,000 students
Iredell-Statesville 32 19,400 138 7.11
Burke County 26 14,600 45 3.08
Catawba County 25 16,739 46 2.75
Alexander County 10 5,450 6 1.10
PROJECT PROPOSAL FROM THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
Jack Hoke, Superintendent, discussed the Alexander County
Board of Education Long Range Facility Plan Proposal, which included information regarding
past projects (Alexander Central High School, Ellendale Elementary School, the Central
Office, Central Park, Stony Point Elementary School, Sugar Loaf Elementary School, and
Taylorsville Elementary School), current projects (East and West Alexander Middle
Schools), and future projects. The future
projects included plans for a performing arts auditorium and a field house at
Mr. Hoke stated that an auditorium could be used for daily
school classes for as band, chorus, and drama as well as for concerts and plays and he
noted that the auditorium could also be used by civic clubs and other organizations. Mr. Hoke stated that
Mr. Hoke also discussed the proposed field house, which would include locker rooms and space for football, soccer, and track on the bottom level. The top level would include concessions and restrooms as well as a 997 square foot classroom for ROTC. Mr. Hoke stated that this project would cost $696,000.
Dr. Barry Redmond, Associate Superintendent, and Sharon
MeHaffey, Finance Officer, distributed site plans and drawings prepared by Orkan
Architecture, P.A. Mr. Hoke explained that the
auditorium would be located where the faculty parking is currently located and the field
house would be located at the far end of the football field closest to
Mr. Hoke felt that this was the appropriate time to move forward with these projects since the need for classrooms had already been addressed. Mr. Hoke felt that this would greatly benefit the School System, County, and Town and would also be a great opportunity for each entity to work together on a significant project.
Commissioner Harbinson inquired about
what renovations were done at
Dale Clary, Board of Education
Member, explained that the reason the projected cost of renovations to
Commissioner Harbinson expressed his
concerns with Sugar Loaf,
Commissioner Harbinson asked Mr. Hoke if the auditorium and the field house could be paid for with half-cent sales tax monies. Mr. Hoke replied that the projects could be funded with half-cent sales tax monies. However, Mr. Hoke suggested that the cost be divided equally between the School System, the County, and the Town.
Commissioner Harbinson inquired about how the auditorium and field house projects would tie up use of sales tax monies for future school projects. Commissioner Harbinson stated that he did not want to jeopardize the possibility of construction of classrooms or additional schools by moving forward with the auditorium and field house. Mr. Hoke replied that the Board of Education did not see that these projects would affect future school projects. Mr. Hoke also stated that the details had not been discussed and he noted that this meeting was simply to allow the Board of Education to provide information regarding the project for each board to determine if there was an interest in partnering with the School System.
Alexander Chairman Robertson reiterated that the purpose of this meeting was for general conversation and to determine if there was an interest in the projects at this time. Chairman Robertson noted that each board would separately discuss the projects further and details would then be worked out.
Commissioner Harbinson stated that he
understood; however, he felt that classrooms and schools were more important than an
auditorium and a field house. Commissioner
Harbinson asked the Board of Education when a
Commissioner Keever felt that now was the best time to consider this project, especially since construction was picking up nationwide, which would increase construction costs.
Commissioner Hammer stated that
Commissioner Harbinson asked if the Board of Education had an updated project plan for the next 5 or 10 years. Craig Mayberry, Board of Education Chairman, replied that the Board was working on that and he noted that the auditorium was part of that plan.
Mr. Clary stated that the Board of Education had followed the Blue Ribbon Committees plan and had actually pushed the auditorium and field house projects back due to the need for additional classroom space. Mr. Hoke noted that the need for classrooms would not need to be addressed again until 2010.
Commissioner Harbinson asked the Board of Education members if there was a need for another Blue Ribbon Committee or they felt that the past committees recommendations could be tweaked for future plans. Mr. Mayberry replied that he felt the Board of Education was capable of handling future projects and there would not be a need for establishing another Blue Ribbon Committee. Commissioner Harbinson stated that he would feel much better about these projects if the Board of Education told him what exactly projects they were looking at, their projections for sales tax, etc.
Dr. Josephine Foster, Board of Education Member, stated that there was absolutely no way to project the exact need. Dr. Foster stated that it depended on how many people relocated here, who built new homes here, and the number of students being home schooled. Dr. Foster noted that more children might be home schooled in the future due to the rapid advancements in technology. Dr. Foster also stated that the Board of Education could possibly tell the Board of Commissioners their prediction if the Board of Commissioners could give them a projection for growth in the county.
Scott Ferguson, Board of Education Member, felt that the next 7 years had been laid out fairly well in the Long Range Facility Plan as far as projects and construction. Mr. Ferguson agreed with Dr. Fosters regarding home schooling. Mr. Hoke noted that there were currently approved home schools the present time.
Alexander Chairman Robertson felt that the auditorium would generate a positive impact for the School System, County, and Town. Chairman Robertson stated that an auditorium would give students and adults the opportunity to enjoy events, concerts, etc. in the county instead of having to drive outside of the county. Chairman Robertson also felt that an auditorium would provide a great economic benefit to the area.
Bob Phillips, Town of
Commissioner Harbinson asked if the
seats in the auditorium would be removable to allow for events such as dinner theatres. Mr. Hoke replied that the seats would not be
removable. Commissioner Harbinson mentioned
that he was aware that the school system had an agreement to use
Commissioner Harbinson felt that the proposed auditorium, if constructed, would not be big enough if constructed with 1,000 seats, especially for a graduation ceremony, and he felt that a 2,000-seat auditorium would be needed. Commissioner Harbinson also felt that an auditorium and field house would not be the best use of available funding, especially since parking would still be an issue.
Commissioner Keever stated that he hoped that each board found a way to participate since the auditorium was something that had been needed for over 10 years. Commissioner Keever felt that now was the best time for this project and he noted that he would support it.
Commissioner Hammer asked if the Board of Education had considered placing the bus parking below the greenhouses. Mr. Hoke replied that option had been discussed but was eliminated because it would be much more expensive due to the significant drop-off next to the greenhouses.
Chairman Robertson noted that additional parking could be placed in the woods near the proposed field house in the future if needed.
Mr. Ferguson stated that he appreciated Commissioner Harbinsons concerns for classrooms; however, he noted that additional classrooms would not be needed until 2010. Mr. Ferguson mentioned that the more support received from each entity, the less money would be required to be tied up with the School System.
Alexander Chairman Robertson suggested that Mr. Hoke, County Manager Rick French, and Town Manager David Odom meet to exchange information and ideas on the proposal to later discuss with each full board. Chairman Robertson suggested holding some work sessions at a later date to allow for more discussion regarding the proposal.
Commissioner Hammer thanked the Board of Education for preparing the proposal for the auditorium and field house. Commissioner Hammer felt that the projects were indeed workable.
Mr. Clary stated that he, as well as
the entire Board of Education, was proud of what projects had been accomplished. Mr. Clary stated that a recent visitor to the
county had commented on the many projects that had been completed. Mr. Clary noted that he informed the visitor that
it was due to teamwork between the Board of Education,
Alexander Chairman Robertson conveyed his appreciation to all those in attendance at the meeting.
There being no further business, the
meeting was adjourned at
Jamie C. Millsaps, Clerk to the Board