The Smyrna School District may be doing another referendum in the future to renovate older buildings in the district. The Smyrna Board of Education members approved a motion at their June 19 meeting that gives the district approval to pursue a Certificate of Necessity with the state.

Finance Director Jerry Gallagher said the Certificate of Necessity is the first step in a process to see if the district can do a referendum and is required for districts to have a referendum.

When the district is looking to renovate, expand, or build a new school, Gallagher said the process is to identify the needs, develop cost estimates for those needs, and then the district decides what to submit. From there the request is submitted to the state Board of Education. The state BOE will decide what, if any, projects will be approved and then they'll issue a Certificate of Necessity.

"This is kind of the beginning where we've done a needs assessment of our buildings. We've kind of developed what the more critical, time sensitive projects are and we'll submit them," Gallagher said.

The state BOE's approval of the projects, Gallagher said, depends on competing projects from other school districts in the state.

Over the past 10 years the district has built two new schools and added additions to Smyrna High School, Smyrna Middle School and the elementary schools. Gallagher said the work done through the previous two referendums is done so the district is basically starting the process over again of doing another master plan, looking at the buildings and deciding what needs to be done.

Possible renovation projects

Superintendent Debbie Wicks said the district is pursuing a Certificate of Necessity because renovations need to be done at John Bassett Moore Intermediate School, Smyrna Elementary School and the Thomas D. Clayton building. All three buildings are over 60 years old. Roofing work needs to be done at JBM and a new kitchen is needed at Smyrna Elementary.

Moreover, Wicks said other safety concerns need to be addressed such as cameras, sprinkler systems, and card readers. Wicks said the district has submitted their plan for the future to the state, which has a big say since at this point the state pays 80 percent for projects.

At this point in time, Wicks doesn't have an estimate cost for the renovations.

She said the district will have meetings over the summer and discussions with the Department of Education.

"We'll see what they have to say and we'll go from there, but at this point the school board has approved for us to pursue a Certificate of Necessity," Wicks said.

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