Troy BOE approves capital plan

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Troy City Schools Board of Education on Monday adopted a $27.5 million, five-year capital improvement plan.

“It’s actually more of a wish list,” said Dr. Lee Hicks, superintendent of the school system. “Each year, we meet as a group of teachers and educators in the system and go through the needs in the schools … it can be anything from improving technology through the purchase of new servers to replacing carpet with VCT tiles to purchasing land.”

The five-year plan, which is updated annually, is submitted to the state department of education and provides a resource for lawmakers when, and if, capital improvement funds were to become available at the state level.

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“We haven’t had state funds for capital improvements in years, but each year school systems prepare this plan so our lawmakers can see what our needs and wishes are,” Hicks said.

During the meeting, he told board members that many of the district’s most pressing capital needs had been addressed through the recent $15 million bond project, which funded new classrooms at the elementary school and ECC; a rebuilt, state of the art middle school; and a new media center and cafeteria at the high school.

Additional items on the plan range from $1.5 million for upgrading technology (including servers) to funding for the acquisition of land surrounding Troy Elementary and Charles Henderson Middle School. Some projects, such as replacing carpet with VCT tile, will be necessary. Others, such as the land acquisition or the addition of turf to baseball and softball fields, are true wish list items, he said. “They’re not likely to happen, but if we had unlimited money from the state, these are things our educators would like to see happen,” Hicks said after the school board meeting.

In other business on Monday the board:

• Approved a leave of absence for Emma Fluker, Troy Elementary kindergarten teacher.

• Approved the financial statement. Highlights for the period include sales tax revenues of $255,323 for September, an 8.9 percent increase over the prior year.

• Approved a proclamation declaring Oct. 27-31 Red Ribbon Week.

• Heard from Hicks and board members, who spoke about the outpouring of generosity and support of the community during the injury and death of CHHS student athlete DeMario Harris. “What occurred with Demario was obviously a tragedy,” Hicks said. “But the support we’ve received in this community, as well as surrounding communities and the state … has been second to none. It shows what kind of wonderful town we live in and what kind of state we live in.”

Hicks said community leaders and parent volunteers, including the CHHS athletic foundation, rallied to support the Harris family, coordinating fund-raising events and meeting the family’s needs during a tragic situation.

“Troy is really a unique place,” added board member Mark Salmon. “I’ve long said this part of the world is the last haven of good, old-fashioned core values. It was very humbling to see that – regardless of who you were or what you did in the community – people came together to help.”