School board approves career academy board of directors
Matthew Strother News editor
The Board of Education on Monday affirmed a board of directors for the planned College and Career Academy.
The academy, a charter school that is set to open next year, is funded partly through private funds and partly through a requested state grant. Superintendent Cole Pugh said Monday that officials believed they didn’t have to name a board until after the grant was approved, but found out recently that new state procedures require them to name the board to gain state approval.
Pugh recommended the following people, which the board unanimously approved.
• Dr. Linda McMullen, representing LaGrange College.
• Dr. Tonya Whitlock, representing West Georgia Technical College.
• Dr. Darryl Harrison, representing Point University.
• Dr. Tonia Contorno, representing the school system.
• John Asbell of Georgia Power, recommended by LaGrange High School.
• Toni Striblin of Roger’s Barbecue, recommended by Callaway High School.
• Greg Hicks of Mud Creek Graphics, recommended by Troup High School.
• Josh Fernandez of Kia, Chamber of Commerce large business nominee.
• Renae Willis of CB&T, Chamber of Commerce small business nominee.
• Robby Burch of Interface, Chamber of Commerce at-large nominee.
• Dr. C.J. Tumambing of Emory Clark Holder Clark, Chamber of Commerce medical nominee.
Page Estes, LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce president, said that the approved board only represents the voting members of the board. Once it is in place, more ex-oficio, or non-voting, members will be selected representing students and parents.
The College and Career Academy is part of an initiative by local leaders to produce more students that are ready for work or college after high school and have skills to be employed locally. Local high school school students who attend the academy would be bused or drive to the CCA from their base high school to take one or two classes.
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia provided $3 million to help pay for the operation of the school as part of a bond agreement made last year with the county and cities. The steering committee is also pursuing state grant funds that members hope will generate up to $3.2 million in capital funds toward the renovation of a facility site.
The board on Thursday also is set to approve a memorandum of understanding with West Georgia Technical College, LaGrange College, Point University and the school system for the CCA. It designates that the academy, under the purview of the school system, will be partially funded by the universities and the entities will share facilities for dual enrollment.
In another matter, the school board also is set Thursday to vote on approval of a $20 million payment in lieu of taxes agreement for a $20 million bond by Milliken for investing in new machinery and equipment at its existing LaGrange facilities, said Andy Camp of the Development Authority of LaGrange. Under the agreement, the company would pay 12.5 percent of the value of the equipment and machinery purchased under the project starting in 2015, with the percent paid increasing by 12.5 percent each year until 2022, when it would pay the full value.
“Milliken is a legacy company in LaGrange and we’re excited about possibilities this brings before us,” Camp said.
Also Thursday, the board is expected to vote on creating wireless networks at LaGrange High and Hogansville Elementary schools as pilots for rolling out full wireless infrastructures at all schools over the summer. The wireless capabilities would allow a “bring-your-own-device” environment, said Joshua Moneypenny, TCSS director of technology.
The pilot project for the two schools would be $121,735.34 for Aerohive access points, HP Elitepad Tablets, Chromebooks and carts.
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