HALEYVILLE - At a time when schools have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, extra funding for capital improvements is a welcome relief, with Haleyville City Schools planning to focus a portion of its $2 million bond issue allotment on a new, modern look for the high school gymnasium.
State Senator Greg Reed stressed the total $1.25 billion bond issue was earmarked by the state for school capital improvement projects, deferred maintenance and technology programs. The bond has a formula that divides the money between K-12, the two -ear college system and higher education, Reed stated. Each system will be responsible for how to utilize its portion of the bond within the guidelines, state officials said.
“If you talk to superintendents and board members, their biggest challenge is to find resources for deferred maintenance programs, things you don’t budget for every year, but need to maintain your facilities, your buildings, your football fields,” Reed said.
“A lot of times, when there’s not a lot of money in the budget, those items go to the bottom of the list,” Reed pointed out. “These dollars are going to fill in the blanks.”
The state legislature felt the need to help schools statewide was so great that they helped increase the bond issue from $1 billion to $1.25 billion, meaning more funding to be divided among schools across the state, stressed State Senator Garlan Gudger.
“That means millions of dollars to Winston County,” Gudger stressed. “They are able to build. They are able to add on for career tech. That continues to keep the bar high for education systems,” added Gudger. “I was honored I was able to vote on something that large to be able to help everybody that is in this community.”
State leaders were able to use approximately $70 million that came off the top of the state’s last bond issue.
State Representative Tracy Estes noted he was honored to participate in this critical funding for public schools.
“This is one way for the Alabama legislature to assist public education in a way which so often directly impacts the structures in which our children learn. As a former school board member, I can appreciate having the state partner with local boards of education in such endeavors. I look forward to seeing the projects which will materialize as a result of this funding,” State Representative Tracy Estes said.
Haleyville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Holly Sutherland noted the district’s portion of the bond will go a long way toward making long overdue improvements and upgrades to the front and foyer of the Haleyville High School gym.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.