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Hutchins said that during the previous SPLOST cycles, Pebblebrook and other south Cobb schools have not received substantial improvements, despite the area grappling with a steady growth in student population. For example, a 12-classroom addition for Riverside Primary School in Mableton was slated to be funded with money collected in the previous SPLOST cycle, and while voters approved that referendum, the new building never materialized, Hutchins said.
“So when you vote for it and it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t allow the community to feel comfortable and trust that the school district will make decisions (based) on need,” he said.
It’s not that simple, said school board chairman David Chastain. Chastain said the school district relies on sales tax revenue, which is impacted by consumer spending. The south Cobb area has been on the district’s radar but the school board and superintendent have to look at the entire system when it comes to ranking projects.
“I think we are doing the best we can,” he said, adding the growth Cobb has experienced over the past 30 years began in East Cobb and expanded north, west and now in the south side.
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Morgan, who has served for 10 years, added Superintendent Chris Ragsdale is in tune with south Cobb’s concerns and the system is showing good faith by making some repairs at facilities. He said he hopes the momentum of improving south Cobb’s schools will continue if voters approve a next SPLOST.
“I think now the district is doing more than it’s ever done in terms of SPLOST for not only Pebblebrook High School, but for the South Cobb area in general,” Morgan said.