MPS talks growth, considers 2 new schools

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery County Board of Education sat down Wednesday to discuss the future of the system--including the possibility of two new schools.

In only the third work session of its kind, superintendent Barbara Thompson and school board members talked strategy, discussing--among other things--plans for growth in the school system.

The board already is looking at proposals for a new high school on Montgomery's east side. Superintendent Thompson brought back a proposal for a school in the county's southern tier.

"The first step was to find out if the board was really interested in pursuing that, and I'm happy to hear that they are," Thompson said.

Some board members say a K-12 solution would be the best option.

"It would help us with our dropouts if we had a K-12 school in the southern tier of our county," said board member Mary Briers.

However, it all comes down to money and the cost of building two schools.

"It's like $83 million that we're talking about," said board member Charlotte Meadows.

Though the city pledged $25 million for the eastside school project, the price tag is still steep.

"That leaves us with $58 million still to come up with, and I guess that's my question. That $58 million, where is that going to come from?" asked Meadows.

Thompson says outside sources, including city and county governments, could help curb the costs.

"I'm going to be meeting with some of them this week, talking a little bit more about that, but I think there are some options to consider for funding," Thompson said.

Along with the talk of growth, the board also discussed spending some $800,000 dollars to renovate Pintlala Elementary School.

Thompson also says the system has grant money to phase out Hayneville Road Elementary School next year--available if the board gives the go ahead.

Members could vote on the measures next month.

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