Coweta Schools to hold Community Meetings to discuss ESPLOST Projects

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From Coweta County Schools Press Release

The Coweta County School System will hold a series of public work sessions April 26 through May 6 to discuss recent school system school system capital projects funded by Coweta’s ESPLOST, and hear from the public about potential future school projects.

ESPLOST – which stands for Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax – is a one-cent local sales tax approved by voters which funds school system capital improvement projects (non-personnel projects such as new construction and renovation, buses, equipment and other school improvements). The public hearings will be held at several school locations.  They are:

April 26, Monday – the Central Educational Center, 6:30 p.m. (direct from front lobby)

April 27, Tuesday –  East Coweta High School, 6:30 p.m. (main cafeteria)

April 29, Thursday – Northgate High School, 6:30 p.m. (main cafeteria)

May 4, Tuesday –Newnan High School*, 6:30 p.m., (to be held in Wadsworth Auditorium, downtown Newnan)

May 6, Thursday – Nixon Centre for Performing and Visual Arts, 6:30 p.m. (new black box theatre, parking in rear)

Members of the public can attend any community meeting, regardless of the school at which the meeting is held.  Newnan High School’s meeting will be held in Wadsworth Auditorium in downtown Newnan, due to the current NHS campus closure following the March 26 tornado damage.

A presentation will be provided on ESPLOST IV (2021-2017) and ESPLOST V (2017-2022), summarizing collections and projects completed under those issues, as well as ongoing or upcoming projects under the current ESPLOST V.  The sessions will also discuss future school system capital project needs.

The Coweta County Board of Education reviewed ESPLOST collections and projects during a work session at it’s April 13 meeting.  That history of ESPLOST IV and V collections to date and funded projects can be found here.  The Board’s discussion at their April 13 meeting can be found here (go to the April 2021 meeting, and advance to the 23 minute mark).

The current ESPLOST V issue ends in June, 2022.  The school board will consider future capital project needs of the school system, and may ask Coweta voters to consider an ESPLOST VI issue.  The series of Spring community sessions will gather public input on projects that may be considered in a potential ESPLOST VI issue.

“This is a starter of a conversation for the future” said Coweta Schools Superintendent Evan Horton.  The upcoming community sessions are intended to share information with members of the public and “get their thoughts on potential projects that we may look at for a SPLOST VI… and then report back to you by early summer to be able to make an informed decision” about considering a referendum on ESPLOST VI in the Fall of 2021.

“It’s been certainly beneficial to us over the years,” said Horton, of ESPLOST funds that have been used for school capital projects.. “There are a lot of things we have to do to keep the system functioning and functioning well, and SPLOST has been a great resource to us.”

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