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Gainesville school board approves $394K in updates
Multiple schools getting funding for projects
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Some needed updates are coming to multiple Gainesville schools, including new bathrooms at the Gainesville Middle School baseball and softball fields.

The Gainesville City Schools Board of Education approved facilities projects totaling $394,485 at Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School, Gainesville Exploration Academy, Gainesville Middle School and Gainesville High School.

One of the biggest projects will be adding bathrooms and storage at the Gainesville Middle School baseball and softball fields, for an estimated cost of $99,900. The fields will also get new lighting for about $54,350 and additional handicap-accessible parking for about $2,000.

The alumni gym at Gainesville High School will get a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for approximately $125,000 and new lighting for about $4,500.

Bobby Gruhn Field at City Park will get a new concrete walkway for approximately $60,000, as well as updated bathroom fixtures, toilets, partitions and more for an estimated $9,209. The field is the home of Gainesville’s football, soccer and lacrosse teams.

Fair Street, the middle school and the high school will get new automated handicap-accessible door openers, and Gainesville Exploration will get some tile flooring repaired.

The costs to cover the updates are from last fiscal year’s general fund balance funds, according to school officials.

“Back in June, the board approved transferring $500,000 from the general fund balance,” said Chris Griner, chief financial officer for the school system. “We still ended up with a little over $11.6 million in fund balance after we took that $500,000 and transferred it to capital projects. In the meantime, we’ve been trying to allocate that money the best we can.”

Griner said the district did site visits to all the schools in August to assemble a list of the needed projects.

School board member Sammy Smith said he was pleased to see these projects being tackled that will benefit the daily needs of students.

“It’s a nice mix here, and I commend you for that,” Smith told Griner. “It’s some good budgeting work.”