By Catharin Shepard
Hoke County Schools this week asked the Hoke County Board of Commissioners for funding to build a third campus at Hoke High, as well as money for additional capital outlay projects at Scurlock Elementary and other schools.
The school system presented its annual budget request to the commission board Tuesday during the commission’s first budget workshop of the year. This year, the schools requested $4,842,230 in funding for the current expense budget and $1,236,700 for capital outlay projects.
The current expense request would provide a total of $503,900 in funding for classroom teachers in categories such as supplementary pay, retirement and hospitalization benefits; $860,000 for the same categories for classified personnel; and $283,551 for school administrators. The bulk of the request, $2.4 million, would be designated for school maintenance such as paying for electricity ($1 million for the year), maintenance repair parts ($350,000) and custodial supplies ($150,000). The expense request also included $350,000 in funding for running extracurricular activities including supplementary pay for coaches, contracted services and transportation, among other costs.
The school system also seeks funding in the capital outlay category to pay for a major renovation at Scurlock Elementary, new fire alarm system at Hoke High and smaller repair and maintenance projects at several other schools in the county.
The biggest project, the Scurlock renovation, would cost $590,700 and would remove the stage and restrooms in the dining area and change out the windows, paint the school, repair the siding and face boards, replace classroom doors, change out air conditioners, change out classroom windows and replace the doors in the cafeteria.
At Hoke High, the school system seeks $155,000 to install new fire alarms on both sides of campus and perform some paving work. Additional funding requests would pay for a new roof on the shop building at Upchurch Elementary, replace air conditioning window units at Hawk Eye Elementary, perform additional paving at Rockfish-Hoke Elementary and perform renovations to office areas at the Board of Education. The school system also requested $100,000 to purchase land.
The school system additionally requested $150,000 to buy new furniture throughout local schools as well as $65,000 for portable classroom leases.
The Board of Education also made a presentation to commissioners about a proposal for adding a third campus onto Hoke County High School. The third campus, a large building that would be constructed adjacent to the existing school, would house a new gym, swimming pool, cafeteria, and classrooms for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes as well as career and technical education (CTE) classes.
The annual budget request for the school system does not include funding for the proposed third campus at the high school.
The commissioners also heard budget requests from the sheriff’s office, health department and social services department, and will hear additional requests from other county departments at a later date.