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Cave Spring seeking SPLOST funding for water project, elementary school roof repair

Sunday, Apr. 2, 2023–6:03 p.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

The City of Cave Spring hopes to have two projects included in a special purpose, local option sales tax that will go to voters next year.

The city is asking for $3 million to go toward a $10.5 million water system upgrade. According to Mayor Rob Ware, the project is a virtual rebuilding of the water system, some of which is more than 100 years old.

“This will benefit not only Cave Spring residents with their water rates, but it will benefit Floyd County as well,” Ware said.

The other project involves the repairing of some of the roofs at the former Cave Spring Elementary School. The city council held a called meeting Thursday to increase the amount of money being requested for the roof repairs for the gymnasium and auditorium.

It was originally believed that the project would cost around $200,000, but according to council member Joyce Mink, after meeting with two companies, both estimated the cost would be closer to $300,000.

Joyce Mink

“It’s going to have to have all of the coatings up on that metal roof scraped off,” she said. “Underneath the coatings, it has a little bit of rust, but not much. They think that all they would have to do is use a wire brush and do what they call retrofitting. The work will be labor intensive, and that’s why there is an increase in cost.”

Late last year, it was discovered that there were leaks in the gymnasium roof at the former school. Temporary solutions have been to put a barrel under the leak and to put up tarps to prevent the water from damaging the gym floor.

The Floyd County Board of Education voted in 2021 to close the school, citing declining enrollment and financial considerations. In October, both the school board and city council approved a resolution and intergovernmental agreement for Cave Spring to purchase the school for $40,000.

On January 31, citizens packed the auditorium of the school to share their thoughts on how they would like the property to be utilized for. A cultural arts center, a convention center, activities for seniors and kids, a business incubator, a conference and convention center, housing, a law enforcement training center, and a new home for the library were just some of the ideas.

The only thing it cannot be used for is a school. When the council purchased the school, the agreement had a stipulation that the building cannot be used as a public or private K-12 school or a technology resource center.