CHURCH HILL — The Hawkins County Board of Education is facing a million dollars worth of paving projects in 2018-19, but the two worst parking lots will also be the cheapest to get done.
During a BOE workshop held last Monday at Volunteer High School, the board agreed to advertise for bids to pay Church Hill Elementary and Hawkins Elementary as a combined project, which have been estimated to cost a total of $183,000
The board will also advertise for separate bids to pave the parking lots at Cherokee and Volunteer, although it has not allocated funds for any of those projects as of yet.
Maintenance Director Shannon Glass told the board that the lots at Church Hill Elementary and Hawkins Elementary are “horrible.”
Last December, a woman holding a baby stepped in a pothole at Church Hill Elementary and luckily escaped serious injury.
As for the high schools, their lots are in bad shape, but the county highway department has helped prevent them from becoming too hazardous.
“The parking lot here (at Volunteer) and Cherokee, with the help of the highway department, most of the bad spots have been cut out and patched back,” Glass said. “They’re not near as bad as they were. Do they still need paving? Yes. ... Church Hill Elementary and Hawkins are horrible.”
BOE Chairman Bob Larkins noted that the longer the school system waits, the more those paving projects will cost. Covering the cost of the elementary schools won’t be as difficult as paying for the high schools.
“In terms of how we’re going to pay for this, I think our board needs to be cognizant that we’re not talking about taking this from fund balance,” Larkins said. “We don’t have $1.051 million in capital projects to do this.”
Larkins said the goal is to complete all four school paving projects in the current fiscal year.