“I was excited for the students who are the real winners of ESPLOST. I was also reminded of just how blessed we are to have great community support for our schools,” said Calhoun City Schools Superintendent Michele Taylor.
With a 60-percent turnout Tuesday, the $58 million sales tax package for local schools passed 6,265 to 4,096.
City voters also approved a bond vote that will allow city schools to use $21 million in bonds recently awarded from the state; they will be repaid with ESPLOST collections.
ESPLOST IV, a continuation of the current ESPLOST, will bring in an estimated $58 million over the next five years. The tax will be collected beginning July 2012, a day after the current ESPLOST is set to expire.
The money will be split between Gordon County and Calhoun City school system. Both systems have already submitted project plans for the funds.
Gordon County will receive 66.6 percent of the collection, making them eligible for up to $39 million. The biggest project planned for Gordon County is a new Northside middle school in the Red Bud area at a cost of $17 million.
Gordon County Schools Superintendent Bill McCown said he wants to thank the entire community for providing the schools with the funding for much needed classrooms and space for the county’s middle schoolers.
“I was really grateful to the community for continuing to support the students by passing the continuation of the one penny sales tax,” McCown said. “There is a shortage of middle school space and our children do deserve and need adequate classroom space.”
Calhoun City system will receive 33.4 percent of the collection, making them eligible for up to $19 million. The main project for the city school system is the construction of a $33 million connected high school and middle school complex on the property where the two schools are now.