Board of Education takes first step on RCMS renovation; keeps tax rates the same

Renovations will include HVAC and accessibility at RCMS

The Russell County Board of Education took the first step toward a major renovation for Russell County Middle School at a meeting Monday evening.

The board approved a BG-1 for the project, with an estimated cost of $9.3 million.

The renovation project would address several areas of need that were noted in the state-approved district facilities plan. Among them, according to Russell County Schools Superintendent Michael Ford, are HVAC improvements as there are classrooms at the middle school that still have window units and handicap accessibility throughout the school, particularly the cafeteria and the basement. Ford mentioned that part of the project includes the installation of an elevator at the middle school to access the downstairs portion of the building.

The project will also include the installation of LED lighting and paving on the RCMS campus, Ford told WJRS News.

“This is just the first step, there is no obligation for anything,” Ford said. “For instance, it’s just opening the door to begin work on a project.”

Ford also recommended to keep the district’s tax rate the same for 2020-2021, which stands at 52.2 for real estate, motor vehicle, and personal property, as well as a three-percent utility rate.

The board scheduled a public hearing for Sept. 3 at 4:30 p.m. with a special-called meeting of the board of education to follow at 5 p.m. where the rates will be officially adopted.

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Zac Oakes is the News and Sports Director for LakerCountry.com and Laker Country WJRS 104.9 FM.