On Thursday at 6 p.m. at Armuchee High School, Floyd County Schools is hosting a community meeting to address concerns about the renovation of Armuchee High School.
The project, which originally was projected to cost around $25 million, has skyrocketed to an estimated $50 million according to Superintendent Jeff Wilson.
The project is broken up into four phases, excluding the $10 million gym that opened in December. Two phases, phase one and phase three, will focus on the improvement of athletic facilities, including synthetic turf on the football field and a six-lane track.
When the plans for athletic improvements were originally presented a few years ago, community members were shown an eight-lane track. Wilson said that coaches have stated there’s no need to have that many lanes, specifically for a school that is moving down to single A status under Georgia High School Association rules.
“If you go out and look, there’s this huge hill,” he said. “You’d have to cut into that hill and put a retaining wall up. It’s too much work and too many expenses for something that I don’t believe — and neither do the coaches believe — that they need.”
Wilson estimates that adding two more lanes would cost around $190,000. He said if the board approves that, there would be a need to cut something out of the other phases — like new field lights or a scoreboard.
The other thing Wilson wants people to understand is why the roof has not been replaced yet. He said if the school system begins roof replacements now, FCS won’t be able to apply for reimbursements from the Georgia Department of Education.
“The roof replacement cannot begin until after the state capital outlay funds are applied for in the fall of 2020 and get approval from the GaDOE,” said Lenora McEntire Doss, the county school system’s spokeswoman.
The modernization of the building, which is the fourth phase of the project, can’t begin until 2022 because of state requirements that AHS must be at least 40 years old before the system is eligible for reimbursement.
This, along with the projected $1.8 million cost of clerestory windows that some say were promised to the Armuchee community, will be up for discussion Thursday.
Chip Hood, the Armuchee representative on the school board, hopes the meeting will inform the community of whatever financial restraints the school system may have.
“We all want what’s best for the Armuchee community,” he said. “It’s when we all come together, and find out what’s the next step.”