LAURINBURG — Scotland County school administrators will meet with an outside consulting firm approved by the Scotland County Board of Commissioners for the consolidation project next Tuesday.
The company approved by the county — First Tryon — will provided a financial analysis for school debt service.
First Tryon will be paid $7,000 for the initial phase.
“We got a conference call. The main objective of that conference call was to make it a partnership between the county, the school board and First Tryon and we were able to achieve that goal,” said Finance Officer Jay Toland.
School officials have been in contact with First Tryon by email and plan to have a face-to-face meeting on Tuesday at the A. B. Gibson Center.
The report will be available in August.
Still board member Jamie Sutherland questioned the expense of the work.
“So we have no idea how much this is going to cost?” Sutherland said. “So the commissioners agreed to the contract not knowing any pricing?”
First Tryon was informed of a not-to-exceed amount for the financial analysis and the county budgeted $30,000 for the service.
Toland responded although he was not in the initial meeting, he does know the billable rate is $225 per hour and the $7,000 covers the first of the three stages.
Toland said he will have more information after the meeting.
Consolidation could bring changes as early as the 2017-2018 school year, with a new wing added to Sycamore Lane Elementary School to accommodate students currently at Covington Street Elementary. The Covington Street campus could then be used as a campus for Scotland Early College High School. Housing the early college at St. Andrews University comes at a cost of $75,000 annually to both the school system and county.
Plans discussed also include expanding Laurel Hill Elementary School for the 2018-2019 school year and construction of a new elementary school to open in 2020, allowing for the closure of the North Laurinburg, I.Ellis Johnson, and South Scotland schools.
Also on Monday, Toland presented final budget amendments for the board’s approval. The board approved the $67.3 million amendments unanimously.
Each month the district highlights one or two Teachers of the year as a recognition during a school board meeting. Kellan Teasley, a teacher at Scotland Early College High School, was the last teacher recognized for the 2015-16 school year.
Also recognized were Key Players Angela Moore, a nurse at I Ellis Johnson Elementary School and John McClain, custodian at Spring Hill Middle School.
Reach Maria D. Grandy at 910-506-3171.