A Fayette County resident says he sees the work on a possible school bond for needed school improvements in his county as a balancing act.
“You’ve got to involve the entirety of the county,” Paul McClung told MetroNews.
“You’ve got to come up with a reasonable value for the bond and all the communities have to work hard together to see if we can get one that is, at least, a compromise.”
The 60 citizens who make up a facilities advisory committee on school needs in Fayette County met for the first time Thursday to start working through an architect’s report on needed upgrades.
It’s estimated the most critical needs will cost Fayette County $46 million, but the total bill for all improvements may add up to as much as $136 million, if all of the strongly recommended needs are addressed.
McClung says that is a number that should not be tossed around haphazardly because, he says, it’s raising the concerns of residents. “They’re seeing a dismal report,” he said. “I just feel reasonably certain that that’s (the amount) not going to be the case.”
A longtime advocate for keeping schools open, he says school priorities will have to be set, with the help of citizens, and decisions made about how much Fayette County can afford without maxing out its bonding capacity at once.
“There is a definite need for improvement of all the schools that would remain open, but there has to be reason exercised with this so that it is affordable,” McClung said.
McClung says it’s important to note that this is the first time Fayette County school officials are attempting to address every school’s needs.