To address important needs in Sampson County’s school’s, Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy presented request, which will be sent to local officials.
During a recent work session for for the Sampson County Board of Education, Bracy discussed the capital outlay budget which included more than $695,000 in improvements. Some of the listed items district-wide included replacing activity buses, chiller replacements, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, roof repairs, painting and security upgrades.
One of the major projects listed on the report is a driveway replacement at Lakewood High School ($52,000). The School’s Student Government Association recently addressed board members on the matter.
It was also noted that the stage floor at Union High School would need to be replaced, which was listed at $20,000. When questioned about the request for the newly built school, Lou Nelon, executive director of Auxiliary Services said the floor has been worn due to excessive use.
At Hobbton High School, the district is requesting more than $39,000 for fence replacing, cafeteria improvements, clean auditorium curtains, storage shed and a track.
While discussing needs throughout the district, board member Glenn Tart brought up the idea of the district’s high schools hosting commencement ceremonies, instead of having them at the county’s civic center. Tart said going outside of the district each year is costing the district thousands of dollars each year. He also mentioned how the venue will not be able to accommodate a graduation crowd.
“The numbers keep growing and at some point in time, we’re going have to find another venue,” Tart said. “The civic center is not going to be big enough.
“The taxpayers are already paying for these new schools and we’re paying several thousands of dollars for graduations,” Tart said.
Board member Faye Gay mentioned how auditoriums such Union High School may not be enough for the public and family members.
“If I’m a parent coming to see my child graduate, I don’t want to see them graduate on TV screen,” she said.
Gay said she set up graduations on the football field on numerous occasions, which came with alterations because of weather.
“You have to set it up inside and outside for graduations,” Gay said.
The issue may be discussed in the future for upcoming ceremonies. Bracy said he’ll look into the logistics of the situation.
“It’s probably too late to change any venues for this year, but we can certainly consider what we can do for another year,” said Sonya Powell, vice chair of the board.
Powell added that community input regarding attendance at graduation may be included in the process as well.
“We’ll probably have to take it into the community to see how (the public) is feeling,” Powell said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.