The Barrow County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday, Sept. 3, to sell $22.9 million in bonds for school construction.

The bonds will refinance the 2010 bonds of $18.885 million at a lower interest rate. Selling the bonds will save the district about $2 million. The interest rate on the new bonds will be 1.82 percent.

The bonds will be repaid with Education Local Option Sales Tax (ELOST) money.

The school system is building its third high school, adjacent to Sims Academy of Innovation and Technology.

A middle school and elementary school are expected to be constructed on the same property over the next several years.

Another item approved Tuesday was the Fiscal Year 2021 state capital outlay application. Joe Perno, the assistant superintendent for system operations, told the board at its work session Aug. 27 that construction projects for Statham Elementary and Westside Middle are part of the application. The Westside project will get about $1.5 million from the state and the single-story portion of Statham will get about $400,000.

Groundbreaking ceremonies will be held for synthetic turf field at Apalachee and Winder-Barrow high schools Sept. 4 and Sept. 12, respectively.

SPECIAL SERVICES

The board approved contracts for nine projects that cover nursing services for special education students and for speech therapy throughout the school system.

Three of the contracts are for special education students. Those will cost nearly $170,000.

The speech pathology contracts, which range from pre-school to high school students, will cost about $316,000.

Some of the contracts are renewals for ones the district has had.

Costs for the contracts will be paid through Medicaid reimbursements and “high-cost” grants.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business, the BOE:

•heard a report on the ELOST collections from Jennifer Houston, assistant superintendent for business services. Houston said the ELOST receipts for August were $1,105,978, the sixth month since January that sales tax collections have been above the $1 million mark. She said the ELOST receipts for the year are 9.5 percent above the same period in 2018.

•approved two contracts for the purchase of computers, one from Dell for $90,900 and one that is for HP Chromebooks in which the low bidder was left off the bid sheet in August. That one is to W.B. Mason for $105,470 and is for 500 Chromebooks.

•heard from Ginger Crosswhite that the district’s “teacher-leaders” for the 2018-19 year were Allyssa Frazier, Grace Heck, Laura Payne, Nicole Baker, Ysheena Lyles, Gretchen Hollingsworth, Dana “Elise” Brewer, Andrea Mason, McKenzie Crippen, Jodie Ellison, Michele Pinson and Ashley Bailey.

•heard that three schools’ nutrition staff had 100 percent attendance in August — Yargo Elementary School, Westside Middle School and Winder-Barrow High School.

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