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Lineburg brings school facility issue to South Boston Council

SoVaNow.com / October 11, 2018
South Boston Town Council tackled a light agenda at their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, a day later than usual due to the Columbus Day holiday.

Superintendent of Halifax County Public Schools Mark Lineburg shared a presentation about the condition of the high school and the potential for a remodeled or a new school.

Lineburg stressed the importance of all entities communicating throughout the process of making the decisions about planning and paying for what the county ultimately chooses.

“I appreciate your letting me come and share our high school project with you,” Lineburg said. “There are four main reasons that we need to address the high school: building and infrastructure, safety and security, impact on student learning and community pride. The high school is in dire need of repair. We’ve been doing vast community outreach because this project deserves that kind of attention.

“It is certainly one of the biggest decisions that we will make this century and I believe the high school is the flagship of our school fleet. All roads lead to HCHS. It may be the most important building in the community, and certainly the most used.”

The first issue up for discussion, beyond the state of disrepair throughout the building, is finding a way to pay for improvements.

“We should get the how out of the way first,” said Lineburg. “We’re looking at several different ways to fund a new or remodeled school, although we don’t know the exact amount. Some of the ways we’re looking at getting funding: school division savings (on construction bids and loan servicing) and community partnerships for some spaces.

“We are lobbying hard for state funding. I don’t want to get overly optimistic, but I am cautiously optimistic there are two revenue streams that are certainly coming this year and that’s Medicaid expansion and the Internet sales tax.

“Then you have traditional local real estate tax. We want to be respectful of our community and we’ll try every avenue, but it’s certainly hard to get around that piece of the funding,” said Lineburg.

The superintendent also stressed the amount of use the campus gets.

“The high school is in really tough shape. It’s also been the most used building in this county for the last 40 years, it’s open all the time, and it’s been used. I also don’t think it was built well at the beginning and I think it’s got some design features that also add to the problems we face currently,” he said.

The Facility Improvement Plan, Facility Studies and further information on the possibilities for the future of Halifax County High School can be found on the HCPS website.

The next agenda item was a public hearing on the disposition of a parcel of land. Council voted unanimously to give the small lot on Arch Street, north of Factory Street to the town’s Industrial Development Authority to be used for the economic vitality of the downtown area.

A resolution was passed unanimously to honor Capt. B.K. Lovelace on his retirement from South Boston Police Department. There will be a luncheon held in his honor on Oct. 25.

Steve Meadows was re-appointed as head of the Transportation Safety Commission.

Council’s meeting in South Hill that was postponed during Hurricane Florence will be rescheduled in November.

There was no public comment.

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Comments

How about go to school in the rain? Do a remodel. Don't need to spend 88 mil either. We are loosing enrollment etc. I wish these educated people that get elected to these jobs would listen to the people that voted for them. The entire county budget needs to be cut by 20%


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