Catoosa County has agreed to partner with the school system to help facilitate a recently awarded grant that’ll be used to construct an outdoor agricultural building at Heritage High School.

During the Sept. 3 Board of Commissioner’s meeting, County Attorney Chad Young explained the grant and how the county factors in to the funds being processed.

“The school system has a project planned for Heritage High School. It’s an agricultural education facility they plan to build,” Young said. “They were able to acquire some grant funding from the state through the Department of Community Affairs. It’s a One Georgia Grant in the amount of $100,000.”

The grant was awarded to the school system in August and is the brainchild of Heritage graduate Taylor Dyer, who first pitched the idea for the building in late 2018. Dyer subsequently spent the remainder of his senior year trying to secure funding for the project.

After presenting the project to his agriculture teacher, principal, and Schools Superintendent Denia Reese, the project was also pitched to state Sen. Jeff Mullis, who helped initiate the grant, which was awarded in Aug.

“That particular grant cannot, by law, go to directly to a school system. It has to go through a county or city governing authority, or a development authority,” Young said. “The county has agreed to act as the conduit for this grant. The grant would come to us and the county would act as the grant administrator. There’s no funding requirement for the county.”

Commissioners ultimately approved becoming the grant administrator by a unanimous 5-0 vote, but Young says the agreement still tasks the school system with being fiscally responsible for the funds once distributed.

“The intergovernmental agreement is between the county and the school system, and it provides that the school system is responsible for the project and making sure the grant funds are used in the appropriate manner,” Young said.

The goal of the school system is to have the outdoor agricultural classroom ready for use by December 2020.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area.

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