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School sales tax netted $142M in 5 years for Hall, Gainesville schools
Next round of E-SPLOST is underway
Mundy Mill Academy teacher Evelyn Cruz gives students a tour of the new school Wednesday morning, Aug. 2, 2017, as they begin their first day of the school year. E-SPLOST revenue will help pay off the school.

Collection of a fourth round of the education special purpose local option sales tax to fund school renovation and building projects has come to an end, with Hall County Schools receiving nearly $113 million between Nov. 1, 2012, and Oct. 31, 2017.

The Gainesville City School System received more than $29 million during that same time span.

Voters across Hall County approved the E-SPLOST IV referendum on March 15, 2011, with 67 percent in support.

Projects in Hall County Schools funded with the 1 percent sales tax revenues included new  heating, ventilation and air conditioning units in all high school gyms and all school kitchens, and audio-visual renovations and additions in classrooms at 25 schools and in gymnasiums at 18 schools.

But the big spending came in the form of additions at county high schools, including the performing arts centers at East Hall High and North Hall High; a new cafeteria and modular classroom at Johnson High; a new gymnasium at West Hall High; and a new weight room facility at Chestatee High.

Meanwhile, the fifth round of E-SPLOST, which passed in November 2015 with 74 percent of voter support, is now underway. The first collections will begin next month.

Hall school officials have placed a conservative revenue estimate at $105 million for the five-year life of the tax.

Planned projects from the fifth round of E-SPLOST in Hall include additions and renovations at the Academies of Discovery; a new instructional support center; renovations at Lanier College and Career Academy; renovations and additions at the current Davis Middle School for the new Flowery Branch High; and renovations and additions at the current Flowery Branch High for the future opening of the Cherokee Bluff middle and high schools.

Meanwhile, Gainesville City School System used revenues from E-SPLOST IV to build the new Fair Street School, which opened a few years ago, as well as re-roofing work at three schools and emergency systems upgrades.

The city schools will use E-SPLOST V revenues (an estimated $6.5 million per year over five years) to construct and equip additional classrooms and instructional support space; improve existing educational facilities; acquire instructional and administrative technology; purchase new textbooks, instructional, vocational and physical education equipment; purchase new safety and security equipment; and make payments on incurred bond debt.

And Mundy Mill Academy, which opened this year as the city’s sixth elementary school, will be paid off with revenues from E-SPLOST V.

The new Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy will also be paid for with E-SPLOST V revenues.