Sam Sprewell, director of operations, gave a presentation delineating what the special purpose, local option sales tax has done for the school system thus far.
SPLOST III was approved in 2008 by 75 percent of voters, Sprewell said, and so far 123 of 130 projects have been completed with the funds. The system has collected 46 of the 60 months of taxes, with final collections slated to be completed in March 2014.
The school system, he said, has projected a cumulative amount of $48,700,000 to complete all the projects.
The construction of Model High School accounted for $30 million of the $46 million spent so far, Sprewell said.
“We have built a 212,000 square-foot facility that is second to none,” he said. “SPLOST is by far the easiest and fairest way to build the facilities our children deserve and our community wants.”
Other SPLOST benefits Sprewell mentioned were the new auxiliary gym at Coosa High School, additional science labs, as well as 26 additional classrooms dispersed throughout Floyd County Schools.
Technology upgrades in the schools included Smart and Promethean boards — digital instructional boards — that are in more than 90 percent of classrooms as well as the addition of computers and wireless internet access in all schools.
Security upgrades included the addition or replacement of 1,600 security cameras, replacement of 38 exterior doors, upgrading phone systems and the addition of defibrillators in schools, Sprewell said.
The SPLOST also enabled the school system to buy 28 buses and upgrade transportation routing and GPS software.
Sprewell said discussions for SPLOST IV are in the works, yet incomplete. Constituents would cast their votes on Nov. 5, and the new 1-cent levy would go into effect when the current one expires.
“We would sell it as a continuation; you’re not going to spend any more than you have for the past 15 years for us,” he said. “It would be a continuation. There are several duration options we’re going to look at. We’ve had a five-year plan. There’s now a six-year available and we’ve talked to some systems that have actually gone to a 10-year.”
He said the first SPLOST, collected from 1999 to 2004, enabled the construction of the Armuchee, Coosa and Model middle schools as well as Johnson Elementary School.
SPLOST II, from 2004 to 2009, enabled the school system to build Pepperell High School as well as renovate Cave Spring Elementary School and Pepperell Primary School.
“It’s pennies at work,” Sprewell said. “There’s not any other way that we could generate the amount of money and make it as fair as we make it to any person that comes to Floyd County that purchases a good or service. They’re paying for the good of Floyd County Schools.”
In other action:
l The board unanimously approved the January financial report.
With 58.33 percent of the fiscal year completed, Superintendent Jeff McDaniel said that revenues were at 68.54 percent of budgeted revenues. Property taxes, he said, were at 88.65 percent of the budgeted amount, with the final payment of public utilities expected in February.
The expenditure budget was at 57.73 percent. “Monthly expenditures have declined since November contributing to an increasing unspent budget, he said. “We will carefully watch this amount and the positive impact that it will have on the year-end balance.”
l The board voted for Vice Chairman Terry Williamson to act as delegate during the School Board Association’s annual meeting held in Savannah in June, with Chairman David Johnson as the alternate delegate.