Planning For The Future of Paulding County Schools
June 25, 2019
Draft Facility Plan Addresses Capacity Needs;
School Board to Finalize SPLOST VI Projects
A draft facilities improvement plan presented to the Paulding County Board of Education at its regular meeting June 25, 2019 calls for constructing a new middle school in the northeast quadrant of the county to provide capacity relief for North Paulding High School and McClure Middle School. The plan is the result of public input from five Community Conversations on enrollment growth and facility needs held earlier this year.
Contingent on public renewal of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) this November, the plan also provides for classroom additions at Moses Middle School, Roberts Elementary School, and Russom Elementary School to help relieve projected overcrowding at surrounding schools. Approximately $16 million would be designated for renovations at district schools, and another $6 million would be designated for safety and security upgrades district-wide. Just over 30 percent of projected SPLOST proceeds would be used to continue retiring bond debt that the district took on years ago to fund capital improvements at schools. SPLOST is a five-year, one-cent consumer tax that is “pay as you go” and requires no long-term debt. The current SPLOST V expires on March 31, 2021. The November 2019 referendum on SPLOST VI would allow the district to get a head start on much-needed projects if approved.
“At the January Community Conversations we asked our school community to help identify the best approaches to address capacity needs in the most critical areas of our county,” said Superintendent Dr. Brian Otott. “We believe this plan does exactly that by constructing what will become a new McClure Middle School. The current facility, meanwhile, will become an annex building for North Paulding High School. By building one middle school, we will provide critical capacity relief at two schools.”
At the January 2019 Community Conversations held at the district’s five high schools, stakeholders were asked to assess the current enrollment growth climate and discuss potential solutions for capacity needs. A recent enrollment study projects the student populations at North Paulding High School and McClure Middle to continue growing well beyond capacity over the next few years. Stakeholders expressed a preference for addressing capacity needs by constructing new schools and/or adding classrooms to existing schools. Redistricting was the least-preferred method of dealing with capacity needs, with the caveat that a newly constructed school will require some redistricting to populate the new building.
Following a 10-year period of flat enrollment, the Paulding County School District is once again seeing growth, particularly in the northeast quadrant of the county. To assess the current growth patterns as well as the most efficient and effective utilization of classroom space at schools across the county, the school district engaged Education Planners, LLC, to conduct an enrollment and classroom utilization study in 2018, conduct five Community Conversations in January 2019, and to develop the draft SPLOST VI plan presented to the Board of Education on Tuesday.
In addition to a new McClure Middle School, new classroom additions, renovations and safety improvements, the SPLOST VI proposal includes a total of approximately $7.5 million for technology upgrades, fine arts initiatives, physical education improvements and athletic facility upgrades. Another $13.8 million will be set aside for future facility needs that may arise over the course of the five-year SPLOST program. If the SPLOST VI referendum is approved by voters in November, the school district could use advance short-term financing to begin construction of the new McClure Middle School as soon as possible. The aim would be to open the new school in either the 2022-2023 school year or the 2023-2024 school year.
The next step for the Board of Education will be to finalize the resolution that will be presented to voters on the November ballot. As the 2019-2020 school year kicks off in August, the school district will commence with a community awareness campaign to share details of the final plan with stakeholders leading up to the Nov. 5, 2019 referendum.
Documents & Presentations
NEXT (July 2019)
Board of Education finalizes SPLOST VI resolution that will be presented to voters on the November 5, 2019 ballot.
SPLOST Presentation to Board of Education, June 25, 2019:
Download Presentation by Education Planners here
Download press release here
In January 2019, the district conducted a series of Community Conversations, one at each of the district's five high schools, to gather stakeholder input on the challenges and opportunities presented by enrollment growth.
Community Conversation Schedule:
All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. in the school cafeterias
Hiram High School
North Paulding High School
East Paulding High School
Paulding County High School
South Paulding High School
Download Community Conversation Flyer here
Download Community Conversation Powerpoint Presentation here
In 2018, the Board of Education contracted for a Demographic and Facility Use Study to begin discussions regarding response to enrollment growth returning to Paulding.
Download Demographic Long-Range Planning BOE Presentation (08/28/2018) here
Questions may be submitted to email@example.com