Education news

The first step toward the next phase of construction projects in the Polk School District was taken when voters approved an extension of the Education-only, Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (E-SPLOST) fund through 2026.

Another of those steps was taken during the Board of Education's regular session for the month when they also unanimously approved R.K. Redding Construction as the construction management firm to handle the upcoming building projects in the district.

Superintendent Laurie Atkins said she was glad the firm will continue to work for the School District and handling upcoming projects.

"They've served us well and we've been pleased to with the services they have provided in the past, so we're definitely pleased to continue working with them," Atkins said.

The firm - which was approved in 2014 to handle E-SPLOST construction projects in 2014 - will once again be utilized to manage the large number of subcontractors who will be involved in several upcoming new additions and maintenance issues to be completed in four phases.

Chief among those projects will be the second phase of work at Cedartown High School, where the band, arts programs, drama program and much more will get needed new spaces to work out of in the coming years. Rockmart High School will also get a new Agriculture Education building to allow students to take advantage of a separate area that will include areas to work with livestock and state of the art technology used by farmers today.

The project list also includes a number of heating and air conditioning repairs at schools across the county, upgrades and repairs of athletic facilities at the middle and high schools, and roof repairs at various schools across the district.

School board members also voted unanimously to approve an agenda revision to allow for approval of R.K. Redding to be the construction management firm of choice for this round of projects.

Atkins said that central office officials met with the firm who will be handling bond sales later in the week, and that the timeline to complete a new round of sales is expected to be completed by Spring 2017.

Previously, Raymond James and Associates were chosen to represent the Polk School District in making the sales, and those bonds are being paid off by the Polk School District through current SPLOST collections.

Additional bonds will likely be sold after a resolution is developed and approved in early 2018, allowing for the county to get upward of $25 million up front to cover construction costs for the next round of projects.

Atkins said there is at least a 3-month timeline before the sales can be completed, Polk School District get funds and