Selma residents speak their mind about the conditions at Selma High School.

Selma residents applaud one person's opinion to build a new Selma High School.
Selma residents applaud one person's opinion to build a new Selma High School.

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

SELMA, AL (WSFA) -  Three minutes.  That's how much time residents had at the microphone.

"We need a new school!" says one resident.

And that was the overriding feeling Tuesday night at Pickard auditorium in Selma.

"We need to build a new school because it is needed," says another.

Why do they feel this way?

"You can't save a building that's over seventy years old."

"How can a child learn when he's looking at a ceiling and you don't have one?"

Residents and school leaders say the seventy year old Selma High School is falling apart--with walls chipping away and inadequate technology.  They say renovating would only patch existing problems.

"I think it's's time. Selma has been on the map forever for Civil Rights stuff.  Why not for education?  And for moving forward?" says Selma resident, Rita Carmichael.

According to school leaders renovating the current building would cost $20 million dollars. And building new?  It's double the price.  But it's a price Bill Potter's willing to pay.

"I would say whether it's bonds or taxes or however, just raise the it for the kids," he says.

And it's a price others think is possible.

"I have that much faith to believe we can do it. Let's step out on faith."

There is still no word on how the school system will pay for whatever option they decide.  Selma City Schools' Superintendent, Dr. Austin Obasohan says he's taking the opinions from the meeting and will present a recommendation to the school board this fall.  They hope a plan for the school is in place by January 2010.

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