Selma residents and leaders look at options for high school

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

SELMA, AL (WSFA) - Selma High School isn't what it used to be.

"Some parts aren't up to date because it's an old building," says one student.

Built back in the 1930's, the school lacks proper technology and the paint is chipping off the walls.  It's crying out for a makeover - inside and out.

That's why school board members met with city leaders and Selma residents to decide whether to renovate or rebuild.

"We've had people on all sides--some who want to renovate, some who want to build a new school," says Selma City School Superintendent, Dr. Austin Obasohan.

They're considering three options:

Build a brand new school on the existing site.

Build a new facility on the same site but keep some of the old building and renovate it.

And, simply renovate the current facilities.

Regardless of which option is chosen, the city will spend about $30-million.

One parent says it's worth it.

"Whether it costs a little bit more to build a new one...we need a new school.   Whatever it takes," says Dorothy Chatmon.

Many residents in Selma say the high school is a staple in the city.   But many say historic buildings outlive their prime.

"It's out of date.   It has been a good served its purpose.   We need to move on," says Selma resident, Malcolm Jordan.

"We have generations on the way there and if it's that deplorable now, what will it be like in years to come?" asks Sharon Taylor.

Still, some say, you can't replace a piece of history.

"If you have a beautful building sitting there in that pretty sight, I personally do not think that they would have the quality of the workmanship that they have in those buildings," says Malliebe Breeding.

Obasohan says he thinks Option 2 is the best--building new and renovating.

He hopes to apply for $20 million worth in stimulus funds to help pay for the school.

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