County Approves Over $2 Million For Immediate Repairs To 6 Schools

School Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow appeared before Johnston County Commissioners on Monday seeking $2.3 million to make immediate repairs at six school facilities. Photos

Johnston County School officials will be able to move forward with immediate repairs at 6 Johnston County School sites after county commissioners on Monday agreed to loan the school board the funds.

Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow, Chief Operations Officer Patrick Jacobs and School Board Chairman Mike Wooten were on hand for the presentation.

Jacobs said six facilities are in “extreme need” of work. Those projects include new roofs at Four Oaks Elementary and Smithfield Middle Schools, bleachers at Clayton High, HVAC repairs at Selma Middle, East Clayton and Cooper Elementary Schools.

Jacobs said bleacher repairs would not normally be considered an extreme need but the current bleachers are a safety issue and are not ADA compliant.

Some of the projects have come in under budget. The new roof at Four Oaks Elementary was projected to cost $531,000 but the low bid for the project was $334,000. At the same time, HVAC repairs at Selma Middle were projected at $321,000 but will run $598,000.    The middle school is currently leasing a chiller at a cost of $14,000 per month. That can be eliminated once the repairs and updates are made.

County commissioners agreed to loan the entire amount of $2,390,005 to the school system so repairs could begin on all six projects no later than March 1st with completion within 120 days.  In return, the school board will repay the money to the County when a $30 million loan is approved later this year for this and other repair needs at school facilities across the district.

Chairman Jeff Carver said he would like to see the $2.39 million loan repaid before the end of the current fiscal year on June 30, 2017 if possible.

The board voted unanimously to fund the projects.