Insurance funds eyed for LFMS
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Staff Writer
Oct 02, 2013 | 1678 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
County groups debate
LAKE FOREST MIDDLE SCHOOL was the topic of a recent meeting between the Bradley County Education Committee and the Bradley County Board of Education. The Commission has recently passed a resolution committing $12 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year if funds are available. The funds would build a new academic building that would eliminate the multiple independent buildings and bring needed renovations to the core buildings. This aerial photo was submitted by the school.
view slideshow (4 images)
Concerns and clarification were voiced during a gathering earlier this week between the Bradley County Education Committee and members of the Bradley County Board of Education.

Commissioners asked about the status of seeing if code upgrades insurance money from Blue Springs Elementary School could be used toward the renovation of Lake Forest Middle School. To this point, the school system insurance company has not approved funding any of the uses the system has proposed.

Bradley County Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel said the insurance company is requiring new construction be-fore April 27.

The insurance company has not told the school system whether expansion of the school’s auditorium would qualify for the funds.

“We are desperately looking for projects to reclaim this money,” school board member Christy Critchfield said.

Funding for the Lake Forest project would be borrowed during the 2016-17 school year with bond payments starting in January 2017. The funds would be available to use in July 2016.

Commissioner J. Adam Lowe asked when the school system could start working on the project. Lowe said the Commission hopes the system can start on the project using the $1 million it has committed to the project.

Concerns about continued maintenance costs tying up school revenue were also discussed.

Commissioner Jeff Yarber asked McDaniel if the maintenance at LFMS was costing $2 million a year, as was stated in a previous Commission meeting. McDaniel said the amount is inaccurate.

“This year we are spending about a quarter of a million dollars on the roof out there. But our entire capital outlay budget has been about $750,000, except for the years we have had federal monies that we have been able to use on other projects,” McDaniel said.

Committee member Terry Caywood said the principal at Lake Forest told him even if the Commission could not fund the entire project, anything would be helpful.

School board member Nicholas Lillios commented one could not only partially build a new building.

Commissioner Bill Winters expressed concern that the amount of money proposed to be borrowed in the Commission’s most recent Lake Forest resolution would not be enough to complete the project.

Lowe said the Commission could benefit from a more specific number.

“I think there has been too much noncommunication between the bodies. There has been plenty of communication from the individuals on the bodies,” Lowe emphasized. “There needs to be more information between the bodies.”

BOE members stressed any estimate given at this point would most likely be inaccurate, since the project would not start until 2016.

Any Commission decision can be changed at a later date by a majority vote.

“What does the resolution do then?” Lillios asked.

“This is a measure of us, saying this is our hope. This is the same thing as saying with your family in two years, ‘If we have the money, we are going to go to Disney,’” Yarber said.