BEAUFORT — The Carteret County Board of Education approved an altered budget revision Tuesday that is $52 million less than the original amount proposed by school officials.
Carteret County Schools finance officer Kathy Carswell originally planned to present a $52.6 million budget revision, with $52 million of that in bond proceeds and a state grant money for school construction and other facility needs. However, she revised the document after county commissioners expressed concerns Monday over including a $42 million bond amount since bonds had not yet been sold. That coupled with $10 million in state money from the Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund for construction and improvements comprised the $52 million included in the original proposal.
After hearing the concerns, she altered the document, and the school board approved a $682,264 budget revision Tuesday.
Prior to the meeting, Ms. Carswell said the two sources of revenue “were taken off and will be addressed as the county awards the bond order.”
The remainder of the budget revision includes amounts allocated to the school system in state, local, federal and special revenues to meet a variety of needs for the district, from teacher salaries for summer school to four stop-arm cameras on buses.
The $42 million in bond money will address multiple school facilities needs, including the addition of classrooms, gymnasiums at the high schools that can also be used as emergency shelters and other upgrades. It will be supplemented with the $10 million in state grant funds.
Assistant Superintendent Richard Paylor, who is overseeing the bond projects along with construction manager Keith Maready, said the pair are working with county officials to form a bond planning committee.
“We’re working with County Manager Tommy Burns to form the committee,” Mr. Paylor said. “We heard last night (from county commissioners) that they would like to put the gyms and shelters first to get those ready for the county.”
He added that with the skyrocketing prices of construction materials, he was concerned about how bids will come in for projects.
“I’m worried about bids because of the cost of construction materials,” he said, pointing out that a roof project for the Newport Elementary School cafeteria they had recently sought bids for came back too high.
“We’re going to rebid the project because Keith (Maready) said it was just not acceptable,” Mr. Paylor said.
In the meantime, Mr. Paylor said design work continues on multiple bond projects, including covered walkways at several schools.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.