The Cobb County School District could be getting a new $4.5 million data center, pending school board approval of a construction contract Thursday.

The board will also vote to adopt its millage rate and to add eight classrooms to the King Springs Elementary School replacement slated to be completed in May 2020.

New data center

The school district’s proposed secondary data center will house “critical hardware and software components,” and serve as a “backup to guard against the possibility of a catastrophic event at our primary data center,” according to an emailed statement from the district’s communication office.

The center will be responsible for internet and intranet connectivity to and from all schools, as well as daily functional operations like telephone communications, the statement reads.

If the board approves the construction contract with Cooper and Company General Contractors, Inc., the project is expected to remain on schedule for completion by March 2020. The project will be funded with $4.5 million from a special 1% sales tax for education approved by voters in 2017.

King Springs Elementary School classrooms

The school board is expected to vote Thursday on the addition of eight classrooms to the planned $32 million King Springs Elementary School replacement to be located off Reed Road. The singular building, which is slated for completion in May 2020, will replace the school that is currently separated into two campuses in Smyrna.

The replacement school was planned with 67 classrooms. The eight additional classrooms will cost $2.1 million more, according to the board’s agenda item. The project will be funded with money from a special 1% sales tax for education approved by voters in 2017.

The board approved a contract in April with Balfour Beatty Construction, LLC, to construct the King Springs Elementary School replacement.

Currently, kindergarteners and first graders attend the “Brown campus” at 3265 Brown Road, and second through fifth graders attend the King Springs campus at 1041 Reed Road. The new building will be at the Reed Road location.

Millage rate adoption

The school board is expected to adopt Superintendent Chris Ragsdale’s proposed 18.9 millage rate, the same millage rate as last year, increasing taxes by 4.88%.

The district will take in an additional $23 million in property taxes thanks to a 5.44% growth in the overall 2019 tax digest, according to Brad Johnson, the district’s chief financial officer.

The district’s $1.16 billion fiscal 2020 budget was approved in May and is about $90 million larger than fiscal 2019’s budget. New construction and rising values of existing homes and businesses allow the district to collect more money while maintaining the current property tax rate.

Johnson said a Cobb homeowner who owns a $300,000 home can expect to pay about $2,202 in school tax in fiscal 2020 — $123 more than last fiscal year — should the board approve the millage rate Thursday.

The school board will conduct public hearings at noon and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday to give citizens an opportunity to speak on the millage rate proposal.

The board will meet for its regular meeting at 7 p.m. at 514 Glover St., Marietta.

Follow Thomas Hartwell on Twitter at twitter.com/MDJThomas.

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