School system receiving #036;58K for building needs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Butler County Schools System will be receiving some help in updating its schools' facilities. Governor Riley announced on Monday 76 systems across the state will be receiving almost $11 million for use in school construction needs and repairs.

Butler County is slated to receive $58,123 of those dollars.

The money comes from the interest that has accumulated from &#8220pool bond” issues the 76 systems participated in between 1999-2006 for capital improvements.

The interest being returned is based on the amounts each participating system borrowed during that time.

Superintendent Mike Looney already knows exactly where the money is going.

&#8220We will use $50,000 of it toward removing the asbestos tiles from as many of our buildings as possible. The other $8,000-plus will be used to replace old air conditioning units. So it's basically for floors and air.”

In January, Riley proposed a $500 million supplemental appropriation for repairs, construction needs and to retire debt for Alabama's public schools, colleges and universities. The Legislature failed to approve the proposal.

&#8220I've visited schools all over Alabama and know first-hand that many need renovations, restoration and construction work. This $11 million isn't as much as they need, but it is available now and there's no reason why we shouldn't use it to help the conditions in these schools,” Riley said.

While Looney agrees the system could have used &#8220100 times the amount” alloted to update all the county's aging school facilities, the superintendent said he is &#8220glad to get the slice we received.”

&#8220This will be a big help and we certainly plan to put it the taxpayers' money to good use.”

The Crenshaw County Schools System will receive $43, 647, with Lowndes County Schools slated to receive $129,071.