Early voting on an extension of the 1-cent education local option sales tax, which would fund the $80 million package of ELOST projects for the Rome and Floyd County school systems, has already gotten underway before the Nov. 7 election date.
The major projects for Rome City Schools are the construction of a new Main Elementary at an approximate cost of $10 to $11 million, restructuring North Heights Elementary into a sixth-grade academy with an approximate price tag of $8 million to $9 million and building a multipurpose facility — which would include a college and career academy — at Rome High for about $14 million to $16 million.
Lower-priority projects which would be completed as leftover funds from the major projects allow include technology improvements, purchasing replacement buses, overhauling schools with security upgrades and installing air conditioners at elementary school gyms.
Previous ELOSTs have resulted in the construction of Anna K. Davie Elementary and Elm Street Elementary, wing additions at three other elementary schools and a host of technology upgrades, including the outfitting of each student in second grade through 12th grade with Chromebooks.
A new Anna K. Davie Elementary was completed with $10,795,834.21 in funds from ELOST 3 and 4, and the total cost of $11,837,068.21 was supplemented with $1,041,234 in state capital outlay funding. Funds from ELOST 1 and 2 helped to build a new Elm Street Elementary — a total amount of ELOST funding used on the project was not available.
Under the ELOST 4, the current ELOST, projects completed include:
- reroofing and new HVAC at Rome High, with $3,201,940.30 of the $5,524,228.30 project coming from ELOST
- reroofing Rome Middle, with $684,160.30 of the $1,551,320.30 project coming from ELOST — the rest was paid for with capital outlay funds
- putting the South Rome Early Learning Center at Anna K. Davie for $2,276,498.
ELOST 4 also paid the majority of the cost of building a new kitchen and renovating the cafeteria at Main Elementary — $1,557,061.84 in ELOST funds paid for the $1,743,466.84 project, the rest came from capital outlay funds. The cafeteria and kitchen, since it is separate from the central sections of the school, will be folded into the new Main Elementary.
Other projects that ELOST funds helped complete are:
- West gym addition at Rome High — ELOST 3
- Band room addition at Rome High — ELOST 3
- Two-story building at Rome High — ELOST 2, 3
- System-wide security updates (ongoing) — ELOST 4
- Added a gym at North Heights — ELOST 1
- Foreign language building at Rome High — ELOST 1
- Replaced HVAC at several locations around the district —ELOST 1, 2, 3, 4
- Replaced several outdated school buses — ELOST 2, 3
- Renovations of the Phoenix Learning Center and Rome Transitional Academy — ELOST 3
- Provided SMART Boards, projectors, and computers in schools across the district — ELOST 3, 4
- Chromebooks for 1 to 1 initiative (ongoing) — ELOST 4
- Two classroom addition at Rome High — ELOST 1