by Geoff Fox
Washington County Board of Education officials voted 5-1 in favor of a consent agenda that would see them spend $5 million on two roof replacements at Eastern Elementary and Hancock Elementary, plus funds for Chromebooks, and an internet service provider.
The contract to replace the roof at Hancock Elementary was awarded to FirstLine Contracting, Inc. with a cost of $1,074,500.
While five board members and the concurring student member approving the measure, Michael Guessford was the lone vote against it.
A couple years ago, Washington County Commissioners requested Washington County Public Schools to fund more programs in Hancock and at Cascade Elementary.
Board Member Pieter Bickford asked Chief Operating Officer Jeff Prouix if the roof replacement would satisfy that request.
Prouix said the funds for the roof are coming out of the remaining money allo-
cated for the new Sharpsburg Elementary, which came in under budget.
The $1.8 million of county funds left is to be used for Hancock and Cascade, Prouix said.
There was a small project done at Hancock, but “ultimately wanted to see the roofing project come to fruition,” he said.
The roofing project is actually being done ahead of schedule as the funds are available and are time sensitive as they are bond funds.
“We wanted to see this bid come in before we identified future projects because we wanted to make sure we got the roof done first,” Prouix said.
With the cost of the roof replacement being less than the remaining funds, Prouix said there would be about $700,000 left for future projects.
Work on the roofing project is slated to begin at the start of Summer 2023 and all work should be completed prior to students and staff returning to school in August 2023.