Voters Approve ESPLOST for Another Five Years
Several Roswell schools will receive renovation and technological improvements.
On Tuesday Fulton County voters approved the one cent sales tax to fund Fulton County Schools capital improvements at area schools.
“The Fulton County School System is grateful to the voters who cast their ballots yesterday and said ‘yes’ to improving our schools,” said Roswell District Representative and Board of Education President Linda Schultz. “We will continue to be good stewards of these resources and make good on the referendum’s promises.”
The special purpose local option sales tax is countywide and expected to raise $912 million for Fulton County school improvements over its five-year lifetime. It drew opposition from several groups, including Tea Party advocates. Though, others were just as vocal about why it was necessary. In the end, it came down to 63 percent in favor of extending the SPLOST, versus what would have been a necessary increase in property taxes for Fulton County Schools funding.
While previous education SPLOSTs have focused primarily on building new schools – notably 37 schools over the past 15 years – this extension of the sales tax invests in technology equipment upgrades and the infrastructure to support it.
“I’m extremely pleased that E-SPLOST passed and that we can begin to deliver the updated technology and other instructional resources that our schools need,” said Superintendent Robert Avossa. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the parent and community groups who worked tirelessly to make sure voters had the right information to make their decision yesterday. “
In Roswell, system leaders have said the sales tax will cover specific improvements including the following:
- Roswell High School which opened in 1990 has roof top air conditioning units serving assembly areas such as the gym, auditorium (a 1995 addition)and cafeteria, while water source heat pumps serve the classrooms. According to several industry groups, including the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers, the life expectancy of a roof top unit is 15 years and the life expectancy of water source heat pumps is 19 years. We have had to replace some of the roof top units and replace increasing numbers of compressors on the water source heat pumps. Parts are becoming harder to find and breakdowns are becoming more common so it is important that we replace the major components of the HVAC system during the next five years.
- Mountain Park Elementary School was opened in 1973 and received its first large addition in 1989. It has mostly original air-conditioning equipment and it will receive a new HVAC system that will provide reliable temperature control in all classrooms.
- Crabapple Middle School and Holcomb Bridge Middle School each opened in 1983 and had large classroom additions in 1989. These buildings had some components of their HVAC systems replaced during SPLOST 1, but need major overhauls to ensure that reliable temperature control is provided for all classrooms.
- Esther Jackson Elementary School which opened in 1976 will be replaced because the repair cost projections are high. It will be replaced with a new school that meets current educational specifications and has reliable temperature control in all classrooms.
For a full list of Roswell area improvements, see the attached PDF.
Were you in favor of continuing the ESPLOST? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments below.