Making plans for the future is important for officials at the Sampson County School system. Although they can only guess what could be happening over the next decade, one thing they do know is that a plan must be in place in order to meet those needs should they arise.
Open discussion on those plans is now being called for, and a meeting is being set up for next month.
“It is something that we have always done ,and the last time we did it was back in 2002,” explained Anthony Vann, executive director of auxiliary services for Sampson County Schools earlier this week. Vann requested a meeting with the system’s Finance/Facilities Committee to discuss and prepare for the system’s 10-year plan. “It is that time again, time to put down some of the needs we can anticipate facing,” he noted.
Vann said because the system still has some older school buildings among its properties, maintenance will be a key topic of discussion. “Well, of course we are planning on talking with all the school officials about their wants and needs, as well as talking with the public — with parent and advisory groups — to create a dialogue and conduc feasibility studies,” he noted. “But right away, we will have to look at what some of the buildings will be like 10 years down the road. We know Hargrove is in need of serious electrical upgrades and some of those older schools in the system will need quite a bit of maintenance to keep going. We know that right off the bat.”
A decade ago, officials from SfL+a Architects were brought in to help with long-range facilities plan, which included construction of two new high schools, along with other projects currently part of the last 10-year plan.
“We made that list and, to be honest, we got quite a lot of it done (over the past 10 years),” admitted Vann proudly. “Some of the things we put on that list, we really wanted to accomplish, but it really all came down to funding in the end. Like any and all plans, funding is typically the biggest hurdle to overcome.”
This year, Vann said qualification applications to help the committee assist in the discussion of the long-range plan have been sent to five firms so far. Upon what is sent back by those firms, the five will be whittled down to three and selected by the board’s Finance/Facilities Committee. The final decision should be made in early October, Vann said.
“After the committee members decide which firm they want to choose, then we will get started on it the plan right as soon as we can,” he added. “We are looking to work on the plan and take at least eight to nine months to complete.”
When asked if he thought making a 10-year plan was important to the system, Vann didn’t hesitate, “I think they are very useful. We have things that we need to plan for and want to set a goal to accomplish, so, yes, I think it is an important way to get things done.”
The meeting is set for Oct. 2.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.