Cobb School District teachers will receive the state’s budgeted $3,000 raise and will likely be pleased with other budget items when Superintendent Chris Ragsdale unveils his 2020 budget for the first time on Wednesday, according to school board Chairman David Chastain.
The school board is also expected to vote on a nearly $32 million contract for a replacement King Springs Elementary School in Smyrna, as well as a $21.5 million contract for an “instructional support center addition” and renovations at the district’s central office at 514 Glover St.
Both contract items will be funded by 2017’s 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
2020 budget and teacher raises
Wednesday will be the first presentation of the Cobb School District’s proposed $1.3 billion 2020 budget, which will be presented for final approval on May 16. The budget is expected to address teacher and staff salary adjustments based on the $3,000 raises included in the state’s budget for the next fiscal year, among other items.
“As I understand it, I think most parties should be pleased with raises,” Chastain said. “Our teachers are going to be seeing the $3,000 raise from the state, and tune in to find out what else they might get.”
Additional budget information will not be released to the public until Wednesday, according to John Floresta, a spokesman for the school district.
King Springs Elementary School
The school board is expected to vote on a proposal from Balfour Beatty Construction, LLC that would combine the two existing King Springs Elementary campuses, with a total of 60 classrooms in one location. The new school, at 1041 Reed Road in Smyrna, will have 67 classrooms, according to Nan Kiel, a district spokeswoman.
Classrooms are expected to be complete in May 2020 if the contract is approved Wednesday, according to agenda documents.
“Students at both King Spring(s) K-1 and King Springs 2-5 will benefit from this replacement, as two elementary buildings are consolidated to better serve students and families on one new King Springs campus,” Kiel said.
According to Cobb School District SPLOST documents, the replacement will also include indoor and outdoor security improvements, as well as improved technological, phone and learning management systems at the school.
Central office expansion and renovations
The school board is also scheduled to vote on a contract with Cooper & Company General Contractors for the renovation and expansion of the district’s central office, which Chastain said will centralize as much administrative staff as possible at one location.
The project is expected to be complete in February 2021 if the contract is approved Wednesday, according to agenda documents.
Chastain said the proposal would include the construction of a new, three-story building to be connected to the existing building by walkways and a bridge. He also said the current office’s utility will be expanded.
“The building really needs to be upgraded. They’ve been wanting to do it for years, but it always had been kind of pushed to the bottom of the list. But there just comes a point where we finally have got to do something,” Chastain said. “We are trying to consolidate personnel and resources there on the property we own on Glover Street.”
The existing central office, Kiel said, was built as a warehouse 44 years ago, and was never intended to house people. She said the expansion project will install modern electrical, plumbing, HVAC and technology at the central office.
Chastain added that the addition will not be extravagant, as the board and district aim to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
The school board will meet at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, followed by executive session at 5:30 p.m., a budget public forum at 6:30 p.m. and a voting session at 7 p.m. at the school district central office.
In other business, the school board is expected to consider the appointment of principals to Due West Elementary School and Kennesaw Mountain High School. Principal Ladonna Starnes of Due West, and Principal Mark Trachtenbroit of Kennesaw Mountain, are retiring, according to agenda documents.