Johnston County Commissioners have agreed to loan the Johnston County School system $650,000 to begin work on a new building on the campus of Smithfield Selma High School.
The building will not be a replacement for the Field House which was torn down in 2016, according to Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow, but would be an upgrade to a mobile bathroom facility currently being used.
“If you could front us another $650,000 to help our citizens and taxpayers over at Smithfield-Selma we would be most appreciative,” Dr. Renfrow ask Commissioners Monday night. “If you remember we went through the demolition process of the Field House and in turn we have put a mobile unit of restrooms for parents and community members to use this spring for baseball and softball, but we know they need something more than that.”
“And if you could agree to front us an additional $650,000… we would go ahead and get that started this spring or summer in putting something out there more substantial in terms of brick and mortar so that those folks would have a decent place to have a restroom facility.
In February, commissioners loaned the school system $2.4 million so that repair work at 6 other school campuses could begin before a $30 million renovation loan is received by the school board later this year. Commissioners agreed to advance an additional $650,000 for the SSS work, stipulating the money would be repaid this year as soon as the $30 million loan is received.
Renfrow told WTSB News on Tuesday the new facility would not be a field house like the school system has built on other campuses. “It is a dressing area for student athletes as well as bathrooms for student athletes and then it would have public restrooms for patrons at baseball, track meets, and possibly softball games”
Renfrow said the school board wanted to begin work on the project “sooner than later”.
“We have a good temporary solution right now to get us through spring sports. I would like for everything to be done by the start of the school year this fall, weather permitting.”