Superintendent: ‘Best Of Situation’

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 13, 2012

By Beth Cassidy
Enterprise Record

Does the school board support the projected renovations project at Davie High or were they forced to agree just to keep funding for the 2011-12 fiscal year?
Erica Bost wants to know.
A lifelong resident of the county, mother of four, and former teacher, Bost asked the school board that question July 10. In keeping with their policy of not addressing comments made during the meetings, the board did not respond. But former chair Terry Renegar, current chair Barbara Owens, vice chair Chad Fuller, and Superintendent Dr. Darrin Hartness all later answered the question in similar ways.
“We were making the best of the situation we were handed,” Hartness said.
Last July, the board was told by county commissioners funding for the schools would be left flat (unchanged from the previous year) if the board agreed to renovate the high school, at a cost not to exceed $6 million, with $1 million of that coming from lottery proceeds and the remainder from the county.
Wanting to protect funding, the board made the choice to agree to the plan.
Fuller said: “We were faced with a set of choices, when the commissioners told us we could either take the funding we’ve been getting and spend the $6 million at Davie High or they would cut $1.3 million out of our operating budget. We made the choice to keep our people employed. Does the board of education support the renovations plan? Yes. Is it what we wanted to do? No. It makes the most sense to build another school, but we had no other choice …