Although the presidential and senate races, as well as the history made in races for local offices, grabbed the election headlines, there was another result that will impact Gwinnett residents and visitors: the county’s education special purpose local option sales tax extension passed.
In fact, voters opted to continue the E-SPLOST, which will support capital projects in Gwinnett and Buford schools, in a landslide with 76.56% of the votes counted, according to unofficial results.
The vote means the tax will be extended for five years, with the sunset date now set for June 2027. The tax is expected to raise an estimated $984.5 million over the five year period.
The breakdown of where the funding is expected to go is $957.09 million for GCPS and $27.4 million for Buford City Schools.
Capital improvements that the E-SPLOST is expected to cover, include construction of a new middle school in the Archer cluster; renovations or additions at Archer High School, Harbins Elementary School, Central Gwinnett High School, Trickum Middle School, North Gwinnett High School, Shiloh Middle School and the Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology theatre; Technology improvements for all schools; the purchase of digital instructional materials, software and textbooks; new school buses; and maintenance and improvements at schools and athletic facilities.
Some of the technology projects that GCPS is planning to use the E-SPLOST for include: student desktop and laptop computers for classrooms, labs and media centers; laptop carts and docking stations; desktop and laptop computers for staff members; printers and scanners; document cameras; AV, network, USB and power cables; computer monitors; projectors for classrooms, labs, media centers and select conferences; broadcast studio upgrades; flat-panel displays that will be installed in common areas and select conference rooms; interactive, flat-panel displays; sound systems for cafeterias; microphones for classroom teachers in the elementary schools; audio recording capabilities for fine arts classrooms; IP TV set-top boxes; AV upgrades in high school theaters; network cabling infrastructure; switches for the core network and local area network; central onsite servers; uninterruptible power supplies; wireless access points for classrooms and common areas; and applicable integration services and warranties.
Buford City Schools has said it will use its funds from the tax to pay back the bonds that were issued to fund construction of Buford High School as well as “acquiring, constructing and equipping” new schools; building and equipping new classrooms and instructional support spaces at existing schools; fund new athletic facilities and pay for improvements at existing schools.