The Chattooga County Board of Education held a Called Meeting on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. The purpose of the meeting was to conduct a Board Retreat or information session. The meeting was held at the Chattooga County Education Center, located at 206 Penn Street in Summerville.
During a discussion regarding bonds board member, Dr. Julia Houston, had questions regarding the need for a new school in Menlo. She asked, “have we explored all options, like sat down and looked at the whole system and looked at where do our kids come from, I know they are Chattooga County students, for example how many students are actually zoned for Menlo School? What if we moved the (Menlo) middle school kids to the middle school (Summerville)?”
“Wouldn’t it be a good idea to look at all the information before we decide…. There are things to consider before taking 15 million to build a new school,” she said.
After several minutes of Dr. Houston saying that the rest of the board members did not seem to understand her questions, Mr. Hosmer asked her, “do you not want to have a school in Menlo?”
She again said there was a need to look at educational trends, “why would we not look at trends in education…. where is the greatest need in our system,” Houston asked.
“At Menlo School right now, because the building is in bad shape,” Hosmer said.
“Whether you move those kids, or you redistrict them, or move those kids to the middle school, you are still going to need to build a school in Menlo,” Hosmer said.
Listen to the twenty minute discussion:
Board of Eduactaion Chairman Eddie Elsberry said, “I am excited to get started on a new Menlo school as soon as we possibly can. Last week, the Board visited all the schools in the system and it is evident that Menlo is by far the biggest need for new facilities and the time is now. Our maintenance and staff have done a great job of keeping these buildings running but most of the school are very old and unable to renovate to meet today’s standards. When compared to the other schools in the county, it is markedly evident that our Menlo students, teachers and community’s time has come for new and better facilities. The state has agreed that Menlo needs a new school and has designated over 3 million dollars towards the construction of a new Menlo school. The last SPLOST vote passed easily with voters knowing that a new Menlo school was the focal point of the project list. The new Menlo school will be something that the community will be proud of and will only enhance the wonderful educational experience that Menlo can offer.”
While the Board of Education members visited the schools in the system last week, Dr. Houston did not visit any of the schools.