Roane County Schools to place bond on November ballot

SPENCER — Roane County voters will be asked to approve a $9.7 million facilities bond in November to improve all five of the district’s public schools.

Superintendent Richard Duncan said the Roane County School Board on Friday approved putting the 15-year, $9.745 million bond on the ballot. The district will have to submit the bond call to the county clerk’s office within the next 2-3 weeks.

Duncan said the last major bond passed by voters was in the 1990s. The district received state funding to build Roane County High School, and a facilities bond allowed for construction of the athletic facility.

“This is going to be the largest project since the high school was built,” Duncan said.

Duncan said there are five facilities projects which would be funded by the bond:

* Roof repairs and improvements at all five schools, accounting for about $5 million of the bond.

* Security and safety enhancements, such as secure entryways, at all five schools. The cost is estimated to be about $2 million.

* Paving and parking lot upgrades, including lighting, estimated at $1.5 million.

* Heating and air conditioning system improvements at all five schools.

* Planning and design of a new middle school in Spencer. Duncan said this project does not include actually building the facility, only the architectural and engineering part.

Duncan emphasized the projects are needs-based and will directly impact students.

“We’re trying to get the roofs fixed and safety up to where it needs to be,” Duncan said.