Peach County High proposal talks at a pivotal point

FORT VALLEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Residents in Peach County could soon see a new high school in the heart of the county. The schools system’s superintendent, Dr. Daryl Fineran, says an up-to-date facility is long overdue. 

"This is a pivotal point for Peach County," Fineran said. 

He hasn’t had the job for a year yet, and already he’s looking to get the ball rolling on building a better Peach County High School. 

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Fineran and the school board are finalizing paperwork to file with the county’s board of elections. He’s hoping to get an education penny sales tax on the ballot in a few months. 

"In December, the board passed a referendum to continue the penny to get the E-SPLOST back on the ballot in March," Fineran said. 

The sales tax money, along with funds set aside from the state, is enough to start building a new high school that will replace the old one. 

"Almost $16 million for new construction of a facility. Our current facility is over 40 years old," Fineran said. 

He says he’d like to build a school between Byron and Fort Valley so students around the county can have easier access getting to the school. 

"A new school would give a positive atmosphere to the community. Plus it will attract more students, and hopefully more equipment, more books," Richard Stewart, a resident said. 

Fineran says he needs that type of support to get a new school in the works. 

"We won’t purchase any land or hire an architect or do any of those type things until an E-SPLOST passes in March," he said. 

Until then, he and the school board are waiting, hoping to start construction in the near future. 

The school board will know if the E-SPLOST makes the ballot in the couple of weeks. Fineran adds although plans haven’t been drafted as far as what a new school will look like, he says the goal is to keep the old building to serve as an adult educational facility so that both buildings can still be used.