The replacement school for Newton High is beginning to resemble the finished product. While it might be several more months before students enter those hallowed halls, work on the school is right on schedule.
The 117.7 acres on Crowell Road north is a few miles from the current NHS. Construction began in spring 2011 and the school is scheduled to open officially at the start of the 2013-14 school year. The Newton County Board of Education accepted 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. The later, 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.
The BOE recently voted to ask voters 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.
At Tuesday's BOE meeting, Chairman Eddie Johnson requested that Deputy Superintendent for Operations Dennis Carpenter look into the possibility of naming the entrance something along the lines of Ram Drive or Ram Circle in honor of the NHS mascot.