Capital projects plan addresses schools needs

Published 12:04 pm Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The new capital projects five-year plan for Chilton County Schools lists a roof for Thorsby High School as the top priority.

“Thorsby is one of the final buildings in the county that needs a lot of roof work done,” maintenance director Freddy Smith said.

The plan is to use a “retrofit metal roof,” he said.

The estimated cost is $800,000, and the project is expected to begin next year.

Smith said the project is one of three that is planned to be paid for with the school system’s portion of funding from a state bond issue. Through the bond, the Alabama State Department of Education will be borrowing money and then distributing it to the school systems. The debt will belong to the state department, not the local school systems.

It has been several years since the state department did a bond issue. Smith said this will give school systems throughout the state the funds to get needed projects completed.

Chilton County Schools also anticipates funding an addition bathroom for LeCroy Career Technical Center and improvements to the parking lots at Verbena with these funds.

The bathrooms at LCTC will be for the female students in the automotive and auto body classes.

Smith said there has been an increase in the number of female students taking these courses. There are not bathrooms for female students in the department, but there are for the male students.

The accreditation organization for LeCroy had given the school five years to add bathrooms for the female students in those classrooms. Smith said this will also give the students a place to change clothes.

“Right now, the girls have to go across the parking lot to the main body of the school building to change clothes and do things like that,” Smith said.

The facilities will be close enough for female welding students to use also.

The project is expected to cost $200,000. The project is expected to be completed next year.

At Verbena High, Smith said water is causing issues with the parking lot.

“What I would like to do is just cut that (front) whole parking lot down and bring down to the level of the road and get rid of that knee wall in the front,” Smith said.

There will also be parking added at the Verbena Annex.

These parking lot improvements are expected to cost $350,000. The project is expected to be completed next year.

Projects planned for 2022 include classroom addition for Chilton County High School to replace portable classrooms. Additions for Isabella High School (2022), Jemison High School (classrooms and band room in 2023), LeCroy Career Technical Center (new welding shop in 2023), Verbena High School (new gym in 2024) and Jemison Middle School (multi-purpose building in 2025) are also included in the plan.

Safety upgrades to stadiums at each of the schools that need them are planned for 2023.