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Hall school system increases security measures
Changes made in response to last weeks vandalism of 14 buses
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In other business
  • Approved Stacy Benton as the assistant principal for North Hall Middle School. Benton has been the Safe and Drug Free Schools coordinator for Hall County schools.
  • Entered into an agreement with the Boys & Girls Club of Hall County that allows the club to have about 3,000 square feet of the school district’s land located between Lyman Hall Elementary School and the Boys & Girls Club on Memorial Park Drive. In exchange for the roughly $1,500 parcel of land, the club will allow Lyman Hall students to use the basketball court and soccer fields which will be built there, said Hall County schools Superintendent Will Schofield.
  • Recognized East Hall Senior Eli Martinez for winning the Hartwell-Joiner Foundation Award from the Gainesville Rotary Club.
  • Honored students Kiersten Sapp, Michael Young, James Bellamy, Tyler Johnson and Brittany Farmer for being named Robert C. Byrd Honor Scholars.

In the wake of the vandalism of 14 Hall County school buses last week, the school system has hired night guards and rearranged security cameras to ward off further crime.

Hall County schools Transportation Director Jewel Armour estimates the vandals caused about $25,000 worth of damage on July 14 when they broke into the Johnson High School bus parking lot and spray painted windows, slashed seats and tore out wires from the buses’ control panels. The vandals also wrote “We’ll be back” on one bus ceiling and “Gainesville is next” on another.

Armour said the school district has a $5,000 insurance deductible and the buses will be repaired before school starts Aug. 10.

“We’re in the process right now of getting those fixed and ready in time for school,” he said. “We do have security there now, so I think we’ll be all right between now and when school starts.”

The Hall County school board met Monday in the theater of the new $37 million Flowery Branch High School.

Hall County schools Superintendent Will Schofield said the new high school was built debt-free using special 1-cent tax funds. He said the school has a 1,500-student capacity and he expects about 1,470 students to show up at the Spout Springs Road school for classes this fall.

“We’re under budget and ahead of schedule,” he said. “All the stuff is in the right buildings now. Things are coming into place and we still have three weeks before boys and girls get here.”

Jerry Huguley, director of construction for Hall schools, said the 252,000-square-foot school is the biggest of Hall County’s 34 schools.

He said the school has 86 classrooms and was designed to accommodate a middle school and a high school within the same building.
Huguley said the school features two gyms and “plenty of room for expansion.”

Schofield said the South Hall shift, which moved three school populations to three different buildings to save $1 million in opening costs of the new high school, was executed with “great precision.”

Schofield informed the school board Monday that although sales tax revenues turned out another disappointing month in June at $1.5 million, the school system ended this past fiscal year on June 30 with a $5.6 million surplus.

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