In a called meeting Tuesday morning, the Newton County Board of Education voted to apply for a Qualified School Construction Bond in order to receive $11 million toward the replacement of the Newton High School facility.
According to the QSCB website, "The Qualified School Construction Bond program provides $11 billion face value in tax-free bonds in both fiscal years 2009 and 2010 to help fund school construction, rehabilitation, repair, and land acquisition. It is estimated that the federally-funded bonds will save schools nearly $10 billion in taxes over the next 10 years." The QSCB money is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Newton High School was originally constructed in 1972 as an open-classroom school and has been renovated several times over the years. The NCSS has plans to replace the school with a new 2,500 student, multi-story high school. The estimated cost of the replacement is $33.4 million and state funds in the project amount to $26,118,786.
The board also voted to approve a reimbursement resolution on bond.
"In effect, we may have to spend some district dollars ahead of receiving these federal funds and this resolution would allow us to do that and then reimburse ourselves," explained Superintendent Dr. Gary Mathews.
The BOE discussed its five-year facilities plan in March and announced that in that plan several schools would be phased out. The construction of a high school to replace NHS is part of that plan.