Friday, March 23, 2018
Chamber Board Chair-Elect Shannon Thomas introducing speakers at breakfast.
Chamber Board urges voters to approve both primary ballot issues
A $250 million school bond package won't cover half of the school building needs in Gaston County, but that's all the county can afford to allocate at this time, Montcross Area Chamber members and friends were told at a Business Buzz breakfast program today sponsored by CaroMont Health. The system's total capital needs for new schools, expansions, repairs and renovations is $650 million.
Gaston County Schools Superintendent Jeff Booker spoke about the bond proposal, and County Manager Earl Mathers made a presentation on the need for an additional quarter-cent local sales tax to pay for the bonds. Both issues will be on the ballot during the May 8 primary election.
Of the $250 million, $110 million will be used to build three new schools, one of which will be a new Belmont Middle School. $25 million will go to classroom additions, media center and cafeteria expansions and renovations to serve a growing student population. $115 million in repair and maintenance projects will be funded for schools in all six Gaston County townships. If approved, the projects will be completed over the next 7 to 10 years.
MACC Board Chair-Elect Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special events told the group the Chamber Board has adopted a resolution of support for the bonds and the additional sales tax. She pointed out the Chamber also supported the last school bond proposal in Gaston County for $175 million, which passed overwhelmingly in 2007.
Gaston Schools Superintendent Jeff Booker (left) and County Manager Earl Mathers.