Selma schools get a financial boost

Dr. Austin Obasohan
Dr. Austin Obasohan

Posted by: Bryan Henry - bio | email

SELMA, AL (WSFA) - Selma City School Superintendent Dr. Austin Obasohan feels like a kid who just got an 'A' plus on his report card. A little giddy and obviously excited but who can blame him.

Dr. Obasohan just got word that his school system will be getting $20 million dollars from the federal stimulus package. The $20 million will be just enough to build a new Selma High School, replacing a school that's seen its better days, weeds growing out front, stuff falling down inside like parts of the ceiling and sheet-rock.

Obasohan is wasting no time though. Groundbreaking for the new Selma High School is set up for June.

"We expect a lot out of our students and they expect a lot out of us. This is a good solid foundation for our children," said Dr. Obasohan.

And more good news for this historic city. By a margin of more than 80%, Selma residents approved a $12 million dollar bond issue, the first in nearly 20 years, an approval that was *not* along racial gender llines, a proud moment for Selma. Wayne Vardaman is the President of the Centre for Commerce.

"This a big win for us because rural areas like us have struggled over the years and we're no different," said Vardaman.

There's a laundry list for the $12 million; installing things like police surveillance video at the Riverfront Park as well as building an amphitheater, sprucing up Memorial Stadium, doing exterior work to city hall and bringing the city up to speed, literally by improving its wireless communications.

"Our children deserve this and this is right," said Dr. Obasohan.

$20 million for the city school district, $12 million for the city. Smooth sailing as both entities move ahead to either build, install or clean up.

The $20 million for the school district isn't free money. They will have to pay back the Federal government over a 15 to 20 year period of about $1.3 million a year.

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