In an era where funding Guilford County Schools’ operations and school debt takes just nearly half of the Guilford County budget each year, and the school system has about $2 billion dollars in voter-approved bond money on tap for construction and repairs, it’s easy to forget that, when you go into a convenience store and buy a lottery ticket, you’re funding yet another revenue stream that’s being used to help out the county’s schools.
That lottery money doled out by the NC General Assembly in the state budget each year – coming in to Guilford County Schools for school repairs and improvements – is often forgotten about in the shuffle. However, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners had school lottery funding money top of mind at their Thursday, Jan. 18 meeting, where they approved a request from county school officials to put a lot of that money to work.
There are two main “buckets” of funding for the lottery funds raised in by the state’s ticket sales each year: the Public School Building Capital Fund, used for things like buying land for new schools and constructing them, and the Public School Building Repair and Renovation Fund, used for things like adding classrooms and renovating facilities.
Each year, Guilford County gets roughly $5 million in Capital Fund money from the state, and significantly less from the Renovation Fund. This fiscal year, Guilford County will get about $500,000 in Renovation Fund money from lottery proceeds.
Some of the school projects in Guilford County that the commissioners signed off on January 18 were roof work on Smith High School ($267,500), a new chiller for Ragsdale High School ($250,000) and a replacement roof for the gym at Colfax Elementary ($130,000).
The Board of Commissioners also gave a thumbs up for the school system to spend $600,000 for a chiller and boiler replacement at Sylvia Mendez Newcomers School and $216,606 to replace a control valve at Jefferson Elementary School. Hopefully, that’s a pretty large control valve.