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story.lead_photo.caption In addition to holding open forums, Fulton Public Schools has posted displays explaining Proposition S in buildings across the district. Photo by Olivia Garrett / Fulton Sun.

Fulton Public Schools is hosting a series of open forums over the next month to inform the public about a $27.5 million April bond issue.

"We're hoping it will be more of an informational Q&A than anything else," Superintendent Jacque Cowherd said.

To reach parents from across the community, the district is holding a session at each of the district's schools:

Fulton Middle School, 6 p.m. Friday

Fulton Early Childhood Center, 6 p.m. Monday

Bartley Elementary School, 6 p.m. Feb. 18

Fulton High School, 6 p.m. Feb. 20

Bush Elementary School, 6 p.m. Feb. 27

McIntire Elementary School, 6 p.m. March 4

"We hope the people understand what we're asking for and that the district needs this," Cowherd said.

For community members who can't attend in person, each session will be streamed on Facebook Live.

"We had four open forums and several surveys before — that's what the bond issue developed from," Cowherd said. "We sought parent input into the needs and this is the result of that."

If it passes, Proposition S will allow the district to borrow money to fund 12 new kindergarten classrooms, eight middle school classrooms and a new high school competition gym, as well as upgrades to information technology, electrical systems, bathrooms, the high school health office and secure entrances.

"This year, we would have added another kindergarten class if we'd had room," Cowherd said. "By building 12 additional classrooms, we take kindergarten classrooms out of our three elementary schools and put them on a separate site."

The new kindergarten center will be built alongside the Fulton Early Childhood Center.

The middle school classrooms will take the form of a new wing added on to the middle school.

For Friday's forum at the middle school, the district has a slide show prepared. The presentation includes pictures of the problems the bond would help fix — cramped classrooms, outdated and unsafe technology and entrances, perpetual sidewalk puddles, water-stained floors, and leaking ceiling tiles.

For the later forums, Cowherd hopes to have a video made to explain Prop S and show why its needed — without receiving four-sevenths of the vote in April, the district won't be able to fund any of the planned improvements.

"Nothing happens, " he said. "We continue to put some Band-Aids on and we'll continue to repair stuff, but there will continue to be crowded classrooms. If we're maxed out at kindergarten again, we'll add aids instead of adding teachers. Our kids will continue to share gym at odd hours of the day."

Cowherd anticipates a positive response at the forums.

"If they've got kids here, they know it's needed," Cowherd said. "We've just never had a good plan to address it up until now. This is the first time, through various factors, that we've had the ability to go after a significant amount of money without affecting their tax levy."

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