Board looks at facilities

By PAT BROWN,

The Simpson County School Board is considering the possibility of having a facilities study plan done to assist them in determining the best plans for the future of the physical facilities in the school district.

The cost of the facility analysis would be $22,000.  

The board heard a presentation by Gary Bailey of Bailey Program Management Company, which  has a diverse background in school design and facilities use to support the individual mission of the school district.

Part of the plan will include an existing facility use analysis and a determination of the future use of existing structures for the district. 

The company’s scope of service includes helping the district through the planning process to include facilitating community meetings to get feedback on what the community would like to see in the schools.  Bailey also plans to meet with the principals, staffs and faculties to get their input on the process and to work with the board to facilitate a plan that will serve the district. 

The plan will consider building new facilities to accommodate educational goals, produce cost projection goals for the district and plan financing options for funding construction.

The board has expressed concern about whether the funds they have are being wisely spent. For example, would it be wise to invest in projects that are currently being discussed such as a new field house in Magee and spending $750,000 for new baseball fields for Mendenhall? 

The board says they are not opposed to any of these projects, but they want to make sure the investments fit into the long range plan that will be best for the county. 

The possibility of school consolidation was discussed in terms of whether these investments would be wise if there were different plans for the existing physical plant structures under consolidation. 

The board plans to discuss the study further.