Big changes are coming to several Alamance-Burlington schools after voters approved new education bonds in the election last week.
Alamance County School Bonds, totaling $150 million, passed by about 70 percent of voters.
ABSS has already broken down where that money will be going. Some of the upgrades include:
- About $67 million for a new high school that will go in the Mebane area. The goal is to help alleviate overcrowding Eastern Alamance and Southern Alamance High Schools.
- Cummings High School: about $10 million will go toward a new auditorium lobby, new equipment for the Fine Arts program and other building upgrades
- Eastern High School: about $11.6 million will go toward cafeteria expansion new classrooms and other building upgrades
- Graham High School: $7.6 million for renovations like new flooring, carded entry locks, ADA compliant cabinets among other items
- Southern High School: $20.6 million for cafeteria expansion, new classrooms, a new campus canopy walkway system, roof replacements in certain areas
- Western High School: $12.4 million for cafeteria expansion, classrooms, resource rooms and a new technical lab
- Williams High School: $4.6 million for upgraded school security system, window replacement, auditorium upgrades, roof replacements where needed
- Pleasant Grove Elementary School: $6.4 million for school safety improvements, new flooring, upgrades to the HVAC system and fixes to erosion issues
- South Mebane Elementary: $8.4 million for new classrooms, cafeteria expansion, kitchen renovations and school safety improvements
Many of these projects are expected to take several months to several years to complete. Citizens in Alamance County also voted in favor of about $40 million bonds for Alamance Community College for upgrades and new programming. Mac Williams, President of Alamance Chamber, says he thinks all the upgrades will help boost the economy and make it a more attractive place to work.
“After a company that’s looking figured out their real estate need, they’re next issue is the labor force,” Williams explains. “So, for us it’s about establishing the labor pipeline and facilities have a lot to do with the quality of the education that’s provided. That’s where the teachers teach and the students learn.”
Williams also says it’s a good sign when a community chooses to invest in itself. Money to fund the bonds will come from a property tax increase. The county set a cap on the increase amount at $7.88 per $100 of property value.
There was a third bond to slightly raise the sales tax to help offset and reduce some of the hike in property taxes. That bond did not pass.