Board Approves Funds for New Construction Projects

More than 36 Guilford County Schools and two district office sites will receive much-needed repairs and upgrades, thanks to more than $22.5 million in savings from completed 2008 bond projects. The Guilford County Board of Education approved a final list of construction projects, including $6.28 million in new projects, at its Oct. 25 meeting. These are in addition to projects totaling $16,216,458 that board members approved at their Oct. 9 meeting.

Most of the items are needed repairs and maintenance projects that have been postponed across the district due to funding cuts. The newly approved list includes new boilers at Mendenhall and Allen Middle schools, roof projects at Penn-Griffin, Welborn, and Aycock Middle schools and Sedgefield, Washington and Southern Elementary schools, and new gym floors for five schools.

Guilford County Schools selects construction and repair projects by priority. Safety issues and items like roofs and HVAC projects are higher up on the list, while lighting upgrades or replacing security systems may be lower. The Board of Education approved projects based on the priority list and used funds from the 2008 bond referendum to pay for them, including new schools, like Jamestown Middle, and major renovations at other schools, including the project at Southeast High. Due to the economy and other factors, many of those completed projects came in under budget, which freed up the more than $22.5 million in funds to complete additional items on the priority list.

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners has to approve projects paid for by bond money. Guilford County schools plans to use $4,177,654 for priority items at sites with bond projects that have been completed. That includes replacing the track at Southeast High, installing security cameras at Southwest High, renovating the rock gym at Summerfield Elementary, and work at Eastern High and Alamance Elementary schools. Because county commissioners already approved spending bond funds at those sites, the school district can spend the remainder of the money - at those sites - without additional approval.

The Board of Education also plans to use $12,038,804 of the leftover bond money to replace two 1960s-era boilers at Foust Elementary, a new roof for Penn-Griffin Middle, areas of new flooring at Allen Middle and additional projects at 20 other schools and two district buildings. Because these funds will be spent at new locations, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners must approve the list.