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School Capital Projects
Through cooperation and partnership, the Yadkin County Board of Commissioners and the Yadkin County Board of Education are making improvements to the Yadkin County Public Schools’ facilities.
New tennis courts will soon be a reality at both of the high schools in Yadkin County. Both sets of 6 tennis courts at Forbush High School and Starmount High School are in desperate need of replacement. The State budget provided Yadkin County Public Schools $500,000 for athletic facilities. Jeff Adams, with the school system previously obtained quotes to replace the tennis courts and it was estimated to cost $932,199. During its September 6, 2022 regular meeting, the Board of Commissioners appropriated the needed amount of $432,199 to replace all of the tennis courts at both high schools. School Superintendent, Dr. Todd Martin stated that the tennis courts will be made available to all citizens within the county to reserve and use them when they are not in use by the school system.
In the spring of 2022, collaboratively, the Boards submitted Needs-based Public School Grant Applications for high priority roof repairs at some of the elementary schools and improvements to athletic facilities at the two high schools. The applications for roof repairs at Courtney Elementary, Fall Creek Elementary and Forbush Elementary were approved and the work will begin in the fall of 2022. The total projects will cost $1,517,000, including the required 5% match ($75,850) provided by the County Board of Commissioners. The Needs-Based Public School Grants are funded through the North Carolina Lottery and previously were only allowed to be used for new construction. The Yadkin County Board of Commissioners submitted a Legislative Goal to the NC Association of County Commissioners in 2020 to expand eligibility to include repairs and renovations. The NC General Assembly approved this change with the FY2022 budget. Board Chairman and former NCACC President, Kevin Austin stated, “we are very pleased that the General Assembly listened to us and expanded the eligibility for the Needs-Based Grants, as rural counties like Yadkin have older buildings that just need repairs and don’t need to construct new schools.”
Earlier this month, both Boards submitted 5 Needs-Based Grant applications totaling $7,195,812 to the NC Department of Public Instruction to construct auxiliary gyms at both high schools, plumbing upgrades at West Yadkin Elementary School and Courtney Elementary School, as well as another roof repair at Forbush High School. These projects do include a 5% match from the County Board of Commissioners totaling $359,791 if all 5 applications are received.
The County Board of Commissioners also provided funding in the spring for a mini-activity bus, roof repair at Forbush High School, as well as football field light upgrades at both high schools and baseball and soccer field light replacements at Starmount High School. Light replacements at Forbush High School were previously completed. The Yadkin County Board of Commissioners set aside funds over the last several years for the Yadkin County Public Schools, so these funding needs can be met without any additional tax increases.
The NC General Assembly also funded a Public School Building Repair & Renovations Fund in the FY2022 budget. These funds also come from lottery proceeds. Each county in the State was to receive an estimated $300,000 in FY2022 and $500,000 in FY2023. The Lottery Commission has stated these funds will be recurring. Yadkin County intends to use the funds received in FY2022 and FY2023 mostly for more roof repairs or replacements.
Once these improvements are completed, the remaining task for athletics facilities will be replacement of the tracks and visitor bleachers at both high schools. It is estimated to cost approximately $1.6 million for both high schools. Board of Education Chair, Jennifer Hemric stated, “ we are very pleased with the relationship between the Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners; by working together we can do great things for the children and families of Yadkin County.”