BOE Approves Building Study
Requests County Commission Supply Funds

Jeremy Styron News Herald

After mayor Estelle Herron and Loudon County Commission considered a plan a few weeks ago to move school district administrative offices into the Loudon County Technology Center, the Board Of Education on Thursday made a motion to move forward with an architectural study on renovating the facility.

"What all are we going to include? "BOE member Gary Ubben asked during the meeting. "Dr. Ric Best, you remember at our workshop last week you commented that we needed to put a larger package together that included our phase two interests as well as the mayor's request for LCTC?"

Director Of Schools Jason Vance said the BOE should consider an architectural study as a first step, and then the board could decide to either present LCTC renovations as a stand alone project or package it with other school construction plans.

"Where's the money going to come from?" board member Scott Newman asked about funding the architectural study.

Vance said the county had the option of using money from the fund balance , the adequate facilities tax fund or unspent dollars from the $43 million school construction project. Vance estimated an LCTC study would cost less than $10,000.

"We're taking money from we've set back for the school buildings? We've got some things we've got to do," Newman said. "If they're (county commission) so big on us doing this, getting rid of us... why don't they come up with the money?"

Ubben said since the idea came from commission, the county should fund the study.

As part of the 2013-2014 budget, county commission approved $300,000 to be spent for renovations to the county office building to address spacing concerns, but a loan has not been issued. Herron later proposed the plan to upgrade the technology center and move the BOE offices.

"We have no real desire or interest to move at all," Ubben said. "It's because the commission wants the space. They had set aside or at least authorized a $300,000 loan to build something for them and this came up as an option to that. It would seem to me it's their responsibility then to underwrite it if that's what they wish to have happen."

Ubben made the initial motion motion to approve the study, which was seconded by board member Ric Best.

Later in the meeting, BOE member Kenny Ridings made an amendment requesting that county commission supply the funding. The motion was seconded by board member Jeremy Buckles.

The amendment passed by an 8-1 vote, with board member Leroy Tate dissenting. The BOE approved the study 7-2, with Tate and Newman voting no. Board member Craig Simon was absent.