Stanly to apply for grants for school facility repairs

Stanly County has thrown its hat into the ring for grants for school building renovations as of a decision made Monday at a special meeting of the county’s Board of Commissioners.

Commissioners voted 6-0, with Peter Asciutto unable to attend, to put up $935,000 potentially of local tax money in order to get grant funds from the state which could equal $20 million.

County Manager Andy Lucas, Stanly County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jarrod Dennis and SCS Director of Maintenance Todd Bowers were present at the meeting.

Lucas presented four schools for consideration, including East Albemarle Elementary — which would add six classrooms and enclose the walkway to the cafeteria at a cost of $2.09 million, with the county matching five percent, or $99,000.

Endy Elementary could get eight additional spaces, which Dennis said was imperative because of the school’s dual language immersion curriculum. The total would be $2.47 million, with Stanly paying $125,000.

West Stanly Middle could receive $3.82 million for six new classrooms to eliminate mobile units, with a local match of $190,000.

West Stanly High could get 10 new classrooms with renovations to lab facilities and other updates, totaling $10.1 million, which Stanly would match for $521,000.

Lucas said the county has enough money in the Article 40 and 42 sales tax reserves, which must be spent for SCS, and Article 46, which is for SCS or the community college.

Commissioner Bill Lawhon asked Dennis about the likelihood of getting one grant. Dennis said the state has $380 million to spend, but he hopes to get one.

Chairman Tommy Jordan said if a Tier 1 county like Stanly needs a new school at a cost of $100 million, “a third of the money will be gone. So there really is no way to forecast it.”

Lucas said after conversations with Dennis, if Stanly were to prioritize two of the projects, it would be East Albemarle and Endy. He said East Albemarle has a high number of Title 1 and special-needs students, while Endy is the dual immersion school.

Dennis said the state picks the project specifically.