published Monday, April 15th, 2013

Dade County schools' upgrades topping $1 million

Renovation projects costing in excess of $1 million at Dade County, Ga.'s elementary, middle and high schools are awaiting approval.

Funding for the projects, most of which involve updating athletic facilities, is through the special purpose local option sales tax.

"Sixty percent of the money from this tax is estimated to come from people outside of Dade County, and we are thankful to have this money," Superintendent Shawn Tobin said.

The school board meets today, and Tobin hopes its members will approve a computer network upgrade at the high school at an estimated cost of $38,725 and allow officials to add video surveillance for $119,000.

Upgrades already have been approved for the elementary school gym at $93,000. The middle school has been approved for $192,300 to update its gym, including new floors, a new entrance, remodeling of the stage and some office space, according to Tobin.

An architect and engineer are working on a plan to redo the track and raise it to competition standards, which is estimated to cost $500,000. They also are developing plans to expand the press box and add a video room for about $210,000, officials said.

High school Principal Josh Ingle hopes the plans will be complete soon and "that between the next few [school board] meetings we can have an answer."

"This project will hopefully be completed by Labor Day, so that the kids can use [the gym] for competition in the fall," Tobin said.

"Along with these big projects, there are also plans for smaller projects like a new fence at the elementary school for safety purposes and striping in the parking lot," he said.

Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at

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