Board members are hopeful they will be ready to hold a vote Monday to select two elementary schools to be rebuilt with SPLOST IV funds.
Parents, students and community members from Mountain View Elementary, in northeast Cobb, Brumby Elementary, off Powers Ferry Road in Marietta, and Harmony Leland Elementary, in Mableton, have addressed the board at every meeting since September and asked it to select their school for a rebuild.
Superintendent Michael Hinojosa in October gave the board a list of six options, which included 11 elementary schools, from which to choose two new schools to be constructed within the next two years.
The board has discussed which schools they might rebuild at meetings in November and December, but have yet to take a vote or narrow down the list.
“We have never had a formal discussion about which schools are on the short list,” said board member David Banks.
Some members have voiced preferences for certain schools on the list, however.
Board Member Scott Sweeney has said he favors rebuilding Brumby Elementary, which is in his district.
Vice chair Randy Scamihorn said he had narrowed the list of six options Hinojosa gave him down to three: Brumby, Mountain View or Clay/Harmony Leland. He was not ready to announce Friday which two options he would select.
Clay and Harmony Leland Elementary would be consolidated and the students at both schools merged in to one new building if selected for a rebuild, according to the superintendent’s list.
New land would need to be purchased on which to build the two new schools, and board members are closely looking at what land they can afford, and where. They are also considering how much money the district might make selling the land any of the schools currently sit on, Banks said.
“Which one would give us a bigger payback?” Banks asked.
He has determined the land Mountain View and Brumby Elementary sit on would bring in the most money.
Banks was an adamant supporter of consolidating two schools in his post, Powers Ferry and Eastvalley Elementary, but has received pushback from parents at both schools who said they do not wish to be considered.
Scamihorn said before voting he will consider the safety of the students, the costs to maintain each school, where the board
can afford to build, the number of trailers at each school and the size of the student populations.
Kathleen Angelucci, the board’s new chairwoman, said all six options given to the board were still being considered. She assured that a conversation about selecting schools would happen Monday.
The construction of the two schools will be funded by SPLOST IV, a five-year tax approved by voters last March, which is expected to raise more than $717 million.
The district plans to spend roughly $159 million on construction projects with SPLOST IV dollars. These include two new elementary schools, a new east Cobb middle school and new buildings for Wheeler and Osborne high schools.
Monday’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. at 514 Glover St., Marietta.