A real prize

Published 7:30 pm Friday, July 31, 2009

The future of Decatur County is at One Bearcat Boulevard.

On Sunday, the new $52 million Bainbridge High School will be open from 2 to 4 p.m. to the public for tours and an open house.

Go!

The school is worth a visit, and more importantly, worth the money invested in it.

Sure, the Board of Education is contemplating a millage increase, and sure, the state ordered teachers to take three days of furlough, but the money invested in the new school didn’t come out of those pots of money.

Monies for the new school came largely from the one-cent Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax that passed 94.69 percent to 5.31 percent on Sept. 20, 2005. Voters agreed to raise no more than $32 million for local governments through SPLOST over a five-year period. It’s set to expire in 2012. The remaining money for the school came from the state and various grants.

Monies for building the school did not come from the same pot as money to operate the schools.

But think about it.

This new school expands the opportunities for our students; it envelopes a more secure setting for them, and it makes a statement to our residents, businesses and potential newcomers about our community—we value education and we are willing to make an investment in it.

It is all worth it.

A goodbye

Joel Hudgins is retiring, and we wish him and his wife, Ann, the best.

Joel was the Decatur County Extension Office coordinator and agent for more than 11 years, and Ann was a Seminole County Extension agent for almost the same length of time.

Both have been loyal contributors to The Post-Searchlight, but because Joel was based in Decatur County and farming was his specialty, his knowledge, insight and accessibility were invaluable.

Like many offices and agencies during these tough times, the Extension Office will not replace Joel.

That’s tough. He’ll be missed.