published Monday, February 28th, 2011

Whitfield approves $24 million school renovation

by Adam Crisp

DALTON, Ga. — Whitfield County School Board members today voted to go ahead with plans to re-build Eastbrook Middle School at a cost of $24.2 million.

The move almost assures that board members will need to ask voters for a renewal of the county’s one-penny education sales tax in November.

Board members questioned the expense in bad economic times, but the resolution passed 3-2 with Rodney Lock and Bill Worley voting against the school.

"If you were building a house now, would you do it now?" Lock asked. "You need to know where your money is coming from."

System officials have been pushing a quick decision on Eastbrook.

"We strongly believe if you delay a decision, it's going to cost you more," said Assistant Superintendent Richard Schoen.

School leaders want to tear down the school’s classroom wing and rebuild it on top of current softball and baseball fields. They plan to finance the school with a one-penny special purpose local option sales tax renewal that may come before voters in November.

Students and parents complain that Eastbrook is disrepair and is the worst school in a system with much nicer facilities.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Adam Crisp...

Adam Crisp covers education issues for the Times Free Press. He joined the paper's staff in 2007 and initially covered crime, public safety, courts and general assignment topics. Prior to Chattanooga, Crisp was a crime reporter at the Savannah Morning News and has been a reporter and editor at community newspapers in southeast Georgia. In college, he led his student paper to a first-place general excellence award from the Georgia College Press Association. He earned ...

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