04/12/09 — Schools get $5 million in lottery funds

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Schools get $5 million in lottery funds

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 12, 2009 2:00 AM

The lottery funds are in, and on Thursday the school board voted to accept a bid and release funds for construction projects at Brogden Primary, Greenwood Middle and Mount Olive Middle schools.

School officials received notification earlier in the week that the funds had been approved by the state for distribution, said Nan Barwick, assistant superintendent for finance.

The memo, dated March 31, released $5,031,605 from the district's lottery account, she said.

"The funds have been transferred to the disbursing account," she said. "That means we're ready to draw from them, which is what we needed before we could start approving bids."

Similar notification went to the county, she said.

The district has eagerly waited receipt of the funding since the announcement came several months ago that a portion of the lottery funds were being tapped to offset the state's budget shortfall. Officials were later told those earlier promised lottery funds were still available.

In early February, Mrs. Barwick sent the state a letter of application requesting the $5 million distribution allotted to Wayne County Public Schools.

The response came just in time to accept bids for the first three schools projects, said Sprunt Hill, assistant superintendent for auxiliary services.

The contract is expected to be awarded to Bordeaux Construction Co., which submitted a $4.1 million bid.

Hill said this week he is pleased that the process is moving along, and that there will be a bit of surplus left over, since there are plenty of other projects to consider -- air conditioning the gymnasiums at Mount Olive and Greenwood, which are separate projects, to name a few.

"The next step is to sign over the projects to (County Manager) Lee Smith and the county commission so we can get at the half cent sales tax (refund)," he said.

With the board approval Thursday night, also came the recommendation that the commission award the construction contract to Bordeaux and authorized the transfer of deed for the properties to the county during the construction process.