Last week, Cobb County and Marietta City school board members approved resolutions that called for a special election to renew the education special purpose local option sales tax.

In the upcoming election on November 2, Cobb County and Marietta City voters will decide whether they want to continue utilizing sales taxes to help cover school construction projects.

If all goes as planned, the 1% sales tax, which will be applied over the next five years, would generate roughly $895 million for Cobb County Schools and close to $71 million for Marietta City Schools. The five-year period would begin on Jan. 1, 2024. 

Cobb County’s initial list proposed a commencement and events center estimated to cost an excess of $40 million. Regarding the proposal, Cobb County Board Chairman Randy Scamihorn mentioned that the center would allow the district to host future commencement ceremonies without weather ruining event plans.

While the idea was interesting, other board members, Charisse Davis, Jaha Howard, and Leroy “Tre” Hutchins, were quick to push back against the proposal. 

They expressed they would not get behind allocating precious resources to an unnecessary events center. The board emphasized that the district has far more pressing needs, like improving the infrastructure at existing schools in the district. 

Davis also brought up that much of the district’s feedback on the idea questioned having an events center in the first place. 

Ultimately, the school board voted 6-1 to approve the project list, with David Banks as the only board member opposing.

Some of the notable plans on the Cobb County School District’s project list include improvements and modifications at both North Cobb High and Bells Ferry Elementary schools and building the district’s second career academy in the North Cobb area. Also listed were rebuilding parts of Sprayberry High School, a new elementary school in South Cobb, and further upgrades to Tapp Middle School. 

One of the most extensive plans on the list proposes new annexes at Kincaid, Mt. Bethel, Murdock, Sope Creek, and Tritt elementary schools, in addition to upgrades for stadiums and athletic facilities.

On the other hand, Marietta City Schools wishes for voters to approve the tax to pay for additions or renovations at Hickory Hills Elementary, the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics, Marietta high schools Sawyer Road Elementary, and West Side Elementary.

 Marietta’s expenses also accounted for athletic improvements at Northcutt Stadium, upgrading district technology, and making various modifications to all district schools and facilities.

The school board unanimously approved Marietta’s list.

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