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McCall Primary School in Acworth is one of three SPLOST-funded schools that opened in August, 2005

With four new schools opening their doors for the first time in August, 2005, Cobb's Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) continues to create and improve learning environments throughout the Cobb County School District.

In 1998, Cobb County voters first approved SPLOST, a one-cent tax on most retail goods, to provide revenue to build new schools and fund school improvements. The five-year program generated nearly $600 million that was used for more than 1,200 construction, renovation and technology projects, in addition to a $115 million property tax rollback. SPLOST I resulted in the addition of 12 new schools and a total of more than 1,000 new classrooms. Best of all, the entire SPLOST I program was managed more than $30 million under budget projections.

Seventy-eight percent of Cobb voters approved a five-year extension of SPLOST in Sept. 2003, ensuring that the Cobb County School District can continue expanding, upgrading, and improving for the sake of its 102,000 plus students. Before SPLOST II expires at the end of 2008, a total of nine brand new schools will be open or finalizing construction and new technology will be at students' fingertips to help push learning further into the 21st century.

Pebblebrook High's new Media Center and other renevations were made possible throught SPLOST funds.

SPLOST is making a difference in the Cobb County School District. The remainder of this section provides financial data on how SPLOST I and II money is being spent and how Cobb is using those funds to make our schools an even better place to learn.

Revenue received in 2005 enabled
the Cobb County School District to:

• Pay $23 million (of $69 million total) toward retiring the District's bond debt. This will result in a debt-free school district and the elimination of the bond millage portion of school property tax in 2007.

• 4 new schools completed construction in 2005 (Barber Middle, McCall Primary, Riverside Primary, Austell Primary), with 3 new schools slated to open in fall 2006 (Hillgrove High, Lovinggood Middle, McClure Middle).

• Land purchases and designs for the final two new schools to be built from SPLOST II funds were made during the 2004-05 school year. The new elementary and high schools, both in northwest Cobb, are on target to open in 2008.

• Of 31 scheduled additions/modifications/renovations to current schools, nine have been completed, 10 are currently in progress and 12 additions are in the design process.

• Perform upgrades to HVAC and electrical systems and make aesthetic improvements such as painting needed areas. All District-owned portable classrooms have undergone HVAC and carpet upgrades.

• Complete installation of access control systems at eight elementary schools and the Barnes Center. Staff members at these facilities are issued passcards with an embedded microchip. A centralized computer system monitors and authorizes access to a school's exterior doors, Access to main exterior doors for schools buildings are monitored through the system, helping provide greater security for students and staff.

• Surveillance cameras have been installed in select facilities to create even safer school environments.