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mitchella81

Educational Growth in Metro Area

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I thought this was an important topic to discuss in the area. With the massive population boom about to begin in the valley region Educational resources throughout the valley are exploding. This topic is setup to discuss news of developments in the educational systems of Columbus, PC, Ft. Benning, Smiths, and rest of the valley area.

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I thought this was an important topic to discuss in the area. With the massive population boom about to begin in the valley region Educational resources throughout the valley are exploding. This topic is setup to discuss news of developments in the educational systems of Columbus, PC, Ft. Benning, Smiths, and rest of the valley area.

Heres some stuff i've heard of.

-Rigdon Road Elementry opened a new school in Midtown Columbus last weekend near the old sears site.

-Phenix City is getting a new "high school" due to overcrowding at Central High School the school system is building a brand new Freshman academy near the existing central high school. The school will house only ninth graders and will closly resemble the design of Central High.

-A new school is being constructed on schomburg Road near Shaw High School in North Columbus. Unsure of the full details, but i've heard it's a new middle school.

-Ridgecrest Elementry in PC & Meadowlane Elementry in PC are all undergoing expansions.

I'll post as I learn more if anyone hears of anything about these or other school constructions please post the news here.

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The school board is still seeking funding to complete its new admistrative offices. Below is a article from todays ledger

Board works to finance new offices

Members vote on new deal next week to raise needed $15.3M for $24M administration building

BY JIM HOUSTON - [email protected] --

Related Content

Should the Muscogee County School Board:

Proceed with the proposed lease-financing agreement and build the administration building it is proposing?

Start over and stay within the range that was originally proposed in the SPLOST campaign?

Seek private funding to make up the difference?

Your vote has been counted, thank you for voting.

The Muscogee County School Board will meet in a special called meeting next Thursday to consider a lease-financing arrangement that would raise more than $15.3 million to help pay for the new administration building to be built on Macon Road.

With $12 million in hand from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, the board needs more than $14 million to pay for the planned structure now estimated to cost more than $24 million. That figure does not include bond debt, more than $2 million in costs of acquiring the land and old Sears building, or $1 million to raze the vacant buildings near Columbus Public Library.

Brian Huskey, a bond expert for Merchant Capital of Atlanta, told the board Monday evening that approval of the lease-finance deal next week would result in a very good interest rate for the deal. It also would assure a "Triple-A" bond rating in what has become a very favorable market.

Attorney Woody Vaughn of King & Spalding of Atlanta told board members the lease-finance transaction, a new arrangement recently made possible by the Legislature, would allow the board to generate money obligating debt up to 7.5 percent of its maintenance and operations budget. That means the board's $85 million budget makes it possible to borrow at a debt service rate of up to $6 million a year.

Because the board expects to generate about $15.3 million, its annual debt service would be $1.2 million, leaving "lots of room" between its obligation and the legal limit, Vaughn said.

"The market is really great for us right now, in our favor," Superintendent John Phillips said. "You have to do it as quick as you can or the rate will change on you."

Huskey said paperwork and negotiations locking in the favorable rate cannot be completed by Tuesday's regular school board session, but it would be finished in time for a 6 p.m. Thursday called board meeting.

The school system would not be required to make a payment on the lease-finance debt until after Dec. 1, 2009, he said.

Board member Cathy Williams asked whether the school system's ability to issue bonds during the next two or three years to build new schools would be affected by the pledge to pay off new debt. That could become very important if the system does not win voter approval of an expected new education SPLOST to replace the 1 percent tax soon to expire, she said.

Huskey said bond raters "understand the challenges of growth" and particularly looked at the challenges Muscogee's system faces as Fort Benning expands with the addition of more than 13,000 troops and workers within the next three years.

But the bond rating of an entity cannot be projected that far in advance and "... will have to be re-examined at that time," Huskey said.

The called meeting will be held at

6 p.m. Jan. 24 in the board meeting room in the Bradley Library.

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Smith Station maybe getting a NEW high school. Now this is intresting Smith Station might be getting a new High school in the coming months. The Lee County board of Education met with area residents last night to discuss the possiblilty of the Smiths area getting a new high school. They said due to the BRAC expansion at Fort Benning. the Smiths/n. phenix city & Souther Lee County area are expecting 1200 new students and there just is not room now for those students. BRAC will not be paying for the new high school, but School board officials have found and secured alternate funding sources if the high school is built. This shows just how much of a impact BRAC is having on areas even outside of Columbus/Muscogee County. Phenix City also broke ground last year for a new high school strictly for Freshman to be located near the present Central High School less than 4 miles from Smiths.

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Columbus state University To Get new building

Columbus State is getting yet another new addition. Ground was broken last month for a new student success center on main campus. The Shuster Student Success Center. The new building will house leadership programs, honors programs, a counseling center, a career center, academic support center, and student retition center. The building is named in honor of longtime Columbus resident & generous CSU contributer Marvin Shuster. The building is located in between University Hall (Formerly Fine Arts Hall) and The Center of Commerce and Technology building. It is a 3 story structure and will be composed of the traditional CSU orange bricks and Glass. Very similiar to the Center of Commerce and Technology building. The 38,000 square foot building has a price tag of $9million and is expected for completion next fall.

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Columbus state University To Get new building

Columbus State is getting yet another new addition. Ground was broken last month for a new student success center on main campus. The Shuster Student Success Center. The new building will house leadership programs, honors programs, a counseling center, a career center, academic support center, and student retition center. The building is named in honor of longtime Columbus resident & generous CSU contributer Marvin Shuster. The building is located in between University Hall (Formerly Fine Arts Hall) and The Center of Commerce and Technology building. It is a 3 story structure and will be composed of the traditional CSU orange bricks and Glass. Very similiar to the Center of Commerce and Technology building. The 38,000 square foot building has a price tag of $9million and is expected for completion next fall.

That is great news! CSU has been in a building mode here in the last 5 years.

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That is great news! CSU has been in a building mode here in the last 5 years.

Does anyone know how much the student populations has grown? It seems like it was about 5,500 in the 80's before I left town.

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Does anyone know how much the student populations has grown? It seems like it was about 5,500 in the 80's before I left town.

Their web site shows enrollment at 7,590 at the end of 2007

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Their web site shows enrollment at 7,590 at the end of 2007

That's about three and a half % a year, right? I guess that's respectable. I would have expected it would have been more with all that was done downtown, etc.

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Columbus state University To Get new building

Columbus State is getting yet another new addition. Ground was broken last month for a new student success center on main campus. The Shuster Student Success Center. The new building will house leadership programs, honors programs, a counseling center, a career center, academic support center, and student retition center. The building is named in honor of longtime Columbus resident & generous CSU contributer Marvin Shuster. The building is located in between University Hall (Formerly Fine Arts Hall) and The Center of Commerce and Technology building. It is a 3 story structure and will be composed of the traditional CSU orange bricks and Glass. Very similiar to the Center of Commerce and Technology building. The 38,000 square foot building has a price tag of $9million and is expected for completion next fall.

Do you have a rendering?

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The Muscogee County School board is attempting to come up with $28million to build a new Carver High School. No groundbreaking date is set nor location of the new high school.

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Air-conditioned gyms, new Carver top wish list

Phillips presents plan for proposed $199M SPLOST

95-rendering.embedded.prod_affiliate.70.jpg

Muscogee School Superintendent John Phillips outlined the administration's 18-item preliminary wish list Monday night for a proposed Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax that would ask voters for almost $200 million over a five-year period.

"This is a starting point. It is just a beginning," Phillips told school board members as he explained how administration and school staffs, parent-teacher groups and school councils were tapped to create the wish list.

The dollar values of each proposal is only "guesstimates" and at least 16 of the 18 proposals are flexible items that may or may not make a final list after board members' review, public hearings and adoption of a final slate to put to voters later this year, Phillips said.

The top two items -- $28 million for a new Carver High School and $12.9 million to air-condition school gymnasiums throughout the system -- are not likely to change, because they are virtually unanimous choices of administrators, board members and school staffs.

Phillips will bring a recommendation to the board at next Monday's board meeting to seek proposals for a consultant who would ramrod the SPLOST proposals, creating cost estimates and timelines for each suggested item, including new items that may be introduced by citizens at a series of public hearings to be held.

"This is a first step," said board member Naomi Buckner. "This is public money and the public will participate in any list that is developed."

Phillips said the available election dates for a SPLOST referendum are July 15 with the statewide general primaries, Sept. 16 and the Nov. 4 general election. The timetable for a July referendum would, however, be tight because any proposal developed after the series of public hearings, including ballot language, would have to first be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. That process alone takes at least 60 days, he said.

The 2003 SPLOST is expected to expire in August or September, when the system will have collected the more than $148.7 million voters authorized. When combined with a 1997 education SPLOST, more than $272 million will have been spent on local system projects when the current items to be funded from the 2003 list are completed.

If the voters fail to approve the sales tax proposal, the law requires the school district wait at least 12 months before another SPLOST referendum can be called, Phillips said.

Unlike the current SPLOST plan, the administration is recommending the issue allow for sale of bonds in the next program. The current funding plan allows only a cash-flow implementation of projects, which limits how quickly needed items can be completed.

"You need to jump-start these projects," Phillips said. "The public must see right away that we're getting projects done."

The superintendent pointed to a projected growth "crescendo" that will impact local schools as Fort Benning builds and staffs a new armor center. Thousands of new students must be accommodated in schools that are already overcrowded, and that impact will be felt beginning in 2009, and especially in 2010-11, he told the board.

"We've got to get those projects moving," he said.

No schedule for public hearings has been established, but they will begin as quickly as possible, Phillips said. Those hearings will be not only to present those projects the administration or board members want, but also to hear the ideas, wants and needs articulated by those who turn out for the public meetings, he said.

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Smith Station maybe getting a NEW high school. Now this is intresting Smith Station might be getting a new High school in the coming months. The Lee County board of Education met with area residents last night to discuss the possiblilty of the Smiths area getting a new high school. They said due to the BRAC expansion at Fort Benning. the Smiths/n. phenix city & Souther Lee County area are expecting 1200 new students and there just is not room now for those students. BRAC will not be paying for the new high school, but School board officials have found and secured alternate funding sources if the high school is built. This shows just how much of a impact BRAC is having on areas even outside of Columbus/Muscogee County. Phenix City also broke ground last year for a new high school strictly for Freshman to be located near the present Central High School less than 4 miles from Smiths.

Location for new Smiths high school announced - 111 acres on LR 430

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Columbus Tech Breaks Ground on New Health Sciences Center

Columbus Tech breaks ground for the Dr. Robert L. Wright Jr. Health Sciences Center next Tuesday.

Construction on the 84,000 square foot facility is scheduled for completion in mid-2010.

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Columbus Tech Breaks Ground on New Health Sciences Center

Columbus Tech breaks ground for the Dr. Robert L. Wright Jr. Health Sciences Center next Tuesday.

Construction on the 84,000 square foot facility is scheduled for completion in mid-2010.

Rendering:

Training-Ctr-artists-render.jpg

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Rendering of the new Muscogee County School District Administration Building

446-admin.standalone.prod_affiliate.70.jpg

Construction on the new Muscogee County School District administration building officially begins today on a site nestled between the Columbus Public Library and Rigdon Road.

The groundbreaking takes place three weeks after the board's May 19 decision to award a $15.6 million contract to Brasfield and Gorrie LLC of Kennesaw, Ga., to build the center. The construction company's bid was substantially less than the $18 million budgeted for the structure.

Master plan

In addition to the new education administration building, a city services center, natatorium and parking deck are planned for the site.

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Ground was broken yesterday on the new mildred L Terry Library near downtown. A new $4.7Million dollar facility will replace the existing Terry Library which was the first historically Black library in the city. I saw a rendering on the news, but have not found one online yet when I do will post it here.

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Northside High Gym Starts Construction

Northside High School will break ground on their new 800 seat stadium this Friday. This has been a long time coming for the high school. It sounds like a really nice gym building.

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Northside High Gym Starts Construction

Northside High School will break ground on their new 800 seat stadium this Friday. This has been a long time coming for the high school. It sounds like a really nice gym building.

Northside High School already has a gym, they're building a theater.

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Northside High School already has a gym, they're building a theater.

Haha my bad, I don't know why I called it a gym. It's an auditorium, not a gym.

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Here is a updated photo of Construction progress on the new Muscogee County school administration offices under construction on Macon Road. as of right now it really looks worth the cost doesn't it. LOL It's a lot smaller than I thought it would be for more than 10 million dollars.

3hluUseGZS.jpg

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The MSCD is asking the Feds for funds for 6,400 new BRAC students. There's a big concern that their not looking at enough or accurate data that says where students will actually end up living. What if the bulk of them end up living in Russell and Lee counties (where most of the houses are that soldiers can afford and where they'd want to live) and most of the schools are in Muscogee? What then?

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Smith Station maybe getting a NEW high school. Now this is intresting Smith Station might be getting a new High school in the coming months. The Lee County board of Education met with area residents last night to discuss the possiblilty of the Smiths area getting a new high school. They said due to the BRAC expansion at Fort Benning. the Smiths/n. phenix city & Souther Lee County area are expecting 1200 new students and there just is not room now for those students. BRAC will not be paying for the new high school, but School board officials have found and secured alternate funding sources if the high school is built. This shows just how much of a impact BRAC is having on areas even outside of Columbus/Muscogee County. Phenix City also broke ground last year for a new high school strictly for Freshman to be located near the present Central High School less than 4 miles from Smiths.

Smiths new high school has been needed long before BRAC. Students have been in portables for a while. The new high school to be located at Lee Rd 430 in Smiths, Station (O-A New article) will be a fairly large high school.

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Columbus State University is planning a new satellite campus in West Point by this fall. They say they want to focus on 'business professionals' and not looking to take students away from the private Lagrange College. Really apples and oranges anyway. Lagrange Daily News article here.

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