Marietta BOE talks new building

Photo by Janelle Patterson Marietta City Schools Superintendent Will Hampton reviews past expenditures of ESSER funding before introducing possible permanent improvement offsets of the third federal funding round Tuesday.

In a special session Tuesday, the Marietta City Schools Board of Education approved further visioning of a tentative athletics/music complex in the land between the high school’s Davis Avenue gym and auditorium and the academic building above Academy Drive.

Board members discussed via telephone with the district’s Athletic Director Cody Venderlic the idea of a stadium and fieldhouse to not only centralize junior and high school sports above the Marietta’s two rivers’ floodplain, but also take advantage of a third round of federal stimulus funds post-pandemic.

MCS Superintendent Will Hampton reminded those present that the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) federal funding has come to the school district in rounds, with ESSER I used to provide lump-sum payments to current staff during the school year, ESSER II used to bring back staff whose positions were eliminated within consolidation and assign them to specific recovery-learning roles for a limited contract, and expand both preschool and mental health offerings for students within the district.

Now, with ESSER III, Hampton explained, the district is looking to what capital costs can be offset from the limited permanent improvement fund, if federally eligible.

What to do with $8.6 million in ESSER III funding?

Some may be earmarked for remote readiness, another portion for curriculum enhancement.

Board Member Doug Mallett also noted a hope to use some of the funds on the high school’s roof needing replacement and Treasurer Frank Antill noted windows and HVAC systems in the middle and high school will shortly need upgrades.

But the remainder, Venderlic proposed, could be used to invest in the culture of the school system and a community destination that could drive tournament and music revenue into the community as a whole if accomplished.

Venderlic reported an initial investment by the Marietta Athletic Boosters to fund preliminary designs and “fundraising presentables” with cost estimates for up to $15,000.

Venderlic received the blessing of voting board members physically present to proceed with forming a visioning committee for an athletics complex design.

Antill noted a preliminary budget for the ESSER III funds is expected to be in place in August.

See future editions of the Times for review of that visioning committee’s progress and the funding allocations broken down of ESSER I-III funding for the district by the board.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at



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