Home Elected Officials LSB: LMPS Under Budget, $3.5 Million Available for Athletic Fields

LSB: LMPS Under Budget, $3.5 Million Available for Athletic Fields

LSB Board and Dr. Ted Horrell at work session last night.

By Carl Helton, LC staff

The Lakeland School Board (LSB) met last night (8.7.17) for their work session and noted they were under budget on the new middle school and with additional saved funds, have $3.5 million to potentially put toward developing athletic fields behind Lakeland Middle Preparatory School (LMPS).

Laura Harrison, vice chair, had another commitment and was absent from the meeting.

Kevin Floyd, chair, spoke about the LMPS ribbon-cutting dedication from last week (7.30.17) and was excited with the large turnout and support from the community.

Lakeland School System (LSS) Supt. Ted Horrell invited Dr. Jim Mitchell (founding partner of Southern Educational Strategies, LLC – SES) to speak to the Board.  In his comments Dr. Mitchell remembered it was six years ago next month that the seed was planted for the new school due to the potential merger of the MCS and SCS. He noted that LMPS was completed on time and under budget and he was honored to be part of Lakeland history.  He then read a letter requesting the school contract with SES be terminated this month.

Dr. Horrell presented enrollment numbers for both the elementary and middle schools.  LES (Lakeland Elementary School) initially had 828 pre-registered students but as of the first day of school, there were 876 enrolled. LMPS initially had 600-620 pre-registered but as of the first day of school, 670 students are enrolled at the new middle school. Due to the higher enrollment, three teaching positions have opened up for LMPS with a budged possible fourth position. LES also had an opening for an additional position that Principal Joretha Lockhart has already filled.

Dr. Horrell provided the final cost numbers of the new middle school.  He said three years ago LSB asked the City for $1.5 million for site acquisition, research and planning. For the $1.5 million they started negotiations for the site and worked with A2H and Renaissance.

Originally the loan was for $20 million but due to favorable terms and the bond rating, the Capital Outlay Notes loan was for $22,478,998.   The loan was invested during the construction phase which provided additional funds.

Sticking with the original $20 million budget and the final total cost under $20 million, there is a remaining savings of $994,000, almost a million dollars.

Coupled with the extra Capital Outlay Notes funds, there is a balance of $3.5 million, according to Dr. Horrell.

The Board discussed that the remaining balance of $3.5 million could be spent on athletic facilities.  This would be an extension of the fields behind the middle school that could serve the school as well as the community.

Chairman Floyd noted that all the middle school football team games this year will be played at other schools because there is no field at the new campus.

Dr. Horrell asked the Board’s permission to have the Renaissance Group move forward with preparing a presentation and noted this would only be for athletic facilities only.

Board Member Kelley Hail addressed the Board and recommend that a $15,000 bonus be given to Dr. Horrell for his success in getting the school open on time for the 2017-18 school year and having the project well below budget.  It was also noted that the school opened earlier than the original schedule and did not have to sit empty for months, waiting for a new school year to start. Another consideration in the early finish was using the facility a year early while the loan is paid.

The bonus was discussed by Board members and moved to the regular meeting next week.

Remaining items for discussion were moved to next week’s regular meeting.

… Photos by Jim Willis, Lakeland Currents.


Dr. Jim Mitchell




Letter from Dr. Mitchell to the Lakeland School Board.