March 17, 2014   

Vice President Fogerty began our meeting with a brief synopsis of the past November 2013 E-SPLOST ballot.  HCPOA recognized there was confusion in the community on the various aspects of E-SPLOST IV and our recent programs have addressed differing criteria pertinent to E-SPLOST IV.

HCPOA education coordinator, Mike Buckel, advised members of a March 11 meeting suggested by HCPOA to the BOE to form a coalition of community members representing differing subcommittees to define the needs of three new facilities to be funded by E-SPLOST revenue.  Topics studied were the AG Center, CTAE building, and the Health, Wellness multi-purpose building or commonly referred to as a gym.

HCPOA representative Rich Vandeventer participated in the AG Center committee and advised as our local economy is dependent on agriculture there are sound arguments for such a facility.  The next step is to define actual use needs such as an arena or kitchen and how to design this facility for those needs.  After this committee studies other regional AG centers and learns best use practices, a physical layout with price costs will be developed for our county.  A proposal complete with layout and constructions costs will be forwarded to the BOE for their review and funding plan.

Our next HCPOA representative, Ms.Dottie Williams, participated in the CTAE (Career Technical & Agriculture education) program development.  Ms. Williams identified the actual meaning of CTAE, the need to partner with a technical college, and apply for grant monies.  A comprehensive study needs to begin to determine which avenue the Hart County CTAE program should pursue and develop.  Success of CTAE programs in State high schools are determined by State of Georgia metrics from attendance, graduation rates, and test scores of participating students.  This committee intends to study other regional CTAE programs and develop a plan tailored to Hart County needs and goals.

Mike Buckel completed the discussion reporting on the health, wellness, multipurpose facility committee.  He reviewed the health of the current gym and its problems exasperated by poor building maintenance and advising of necessary repairs to eliminate water problems.  The reasons for a new gym were explored but advocating the need for a serious study to be undertaken to determine actual needs, size and location, as well as addressing if funding is available to execute scheduled and timely maintenance.

‚Äč Each speaker answered general questions on each subject from members and Mr. Buckel briefly fielded a discussion on the status of retired school buildings such as the Airline School building.  Mike Buckel thanked the panel for their participation.