Progress continues on possible Unicoi Co. Schools renovations

Local

An anticipated $8 million renovation project for Unicoi County Schools could soon be coming down the pipeline.

And it reportedly won’t come at a cost to taxpayers. 

Director of Schools John English says the proposed renovations would be paid for out of the system’s sales-tax fund. At the moment, the system is paying off a bond note for Unicoi County High School.

The directors says that debt will be paid off by June 2021. 

English adds they’re working with county officials to help get a new bond note finalized for improvements. 

The county would handle the bond note, and we would pay for the renovations through the sales-tax fund. We want to make sure this is a project that comes at no cost to the taxpayers, English said. 

There are a few steps that have to be completed before renovations can happen. A committee meeting will be held on Friday about the plan and if approved, it will then go before the budget committee.

If approved there, it will go before the full County Commission for a final vote. 

English adds that if the bond note gets approved, the system would look at trying to get an early start on projects, instead of waiting until June 2021. 

“Gentry Stadium is beautiful, but our bleachers are in pretty bad shape,” English said. “That’s one of our top priorities.” 

He added there are concerns with the seating due to cracks and the age of the bleachers. 

English says the system is also looking at different improvements across the county, including improvements to Rock Creek Elementary School, a new gym and Unicoi Elementary, resurfacing of the school’s track and work to add new tennis courts. 

“We’ve had great dialogue with the commission,” English said. “We’re excited to see what happens with this project.” 

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