WINSTON COUNTY - The holidays are coming early for both Winston County Schools and the Looney’s Amphitheater Complex and Cultural Center.
The Alabama Education Trust Fund budget is being stretched a long way, thanks to local legislators, freeing up $1 million for the Winston County School system, along with a separate $850,000 for Looney’s.
Winston County Schools Superintendent Greg Pendley announced the $1 million at the board of education’s November meeting.
“You had to make application for it, and our local representation was on board with it,” Pendley stated.
The funding for the school is being provided at $250,000 increments at each location in the county where there is a county school system, including Double Springs, Addison, Arley and Lynn.
Pendley stressed the funding needs vary at each school, but will include such cosmetic improvements as roofing, HVAC units and other capital improvement projects, educators stated.
“It’s money we did not have,” Pendley pointed out. “I am appreciative for it, as (the board) is, and our communities and student population will be better off because of it.”
Winston County Schools submitted four need-based grant applications, one for each community served by the county school district under the Lieutenant Governor’s Capital Improvement Grant Program, according to Todd Tittle, district director responsible for facilities and maintenance.
“The need-based grants were established by the state legislature to help districts offset rising costs of capital projects due to inflation,” Tittle pointed out.
The maximum possible award per district or project was capped at $5 million and required a local match of 15 percent, according to Tittle.
“Our four combined requests totaled $5 million,” Tittle stated.
“We are thankful and appreciative that we were awarded a total of $1 million, or $250,000 per community, while at the same time, disappointed that we were not awarded more of our requests,” Tittle pointed out.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.