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NHS replacement on schedule
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It may be another year before the doors are ready to open for students, but work on the replacement for Newton High School is right on schedule.

The replacement will sit on 117.7 acres on Crowell Road North, just a few miles from the current home of Newton High School. Construction began in the spring and the school is scheduled to open its doors officially at the start of the 2013-14 school year.

The Newton County Board of Education voted to accept the low bid of $42,603,500 for the construction of the replacement for NHS. Part of the current five-year facilities plan, the state capital outlay will pay for $29,169,232 of the school with the additional cost being paid for from additional capitol project bonds.

In December, the board voted to use bond monies in order to finish the school, due to a decline in enrollment, sales tax collections and local and state revenue. School officials proposed to the board of education that since there is still nearly $24 million in allowable bond issuance, $20 million in bond could be used to finish the high school and $9 million in SPLOST funds could be shifted to renovation projects (such as upgrading HVAC systems, roofing, paving projects and the purchase of technology and buses).

Voters will be asked to continue the SPLOST tax beginning January 2015 and those SPLOST collections - if approved - would be used to pay back the bonds and keep the bond millage rate low.