Montgomery Public School Board refuses 25-million dollar offer

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - "This is Spencer, he'll be a senior this year, and Stewart will be a sophomore this year," says Kay Coats as she looks at pictures of her two sons.

Coats says East Montgomery needs a new public high school.

"The population on this side of town is just booming."

She would even consider transferring her students from private school.

"It's always just a crunch to pay that private tuition and there is really such a population on this side that I think they would really have a good population that would want to."

The Montgomery Public School Board has already turned down the city's $25-million dollar offer once.

"I think we should take it," says board member, Melissa Snowden.

The $25-million dollars is part of a bond issue the City of Montgomery is getting this summer.  The money was designated for a new high school in East Montgomery.

Snowden disagreed with the board's decision.

"This is an incredible opportunity for the city to come give us $25-million dollars."

She says the board was hesitant because the offer doesn't include money for teachers and utilities after a school is built.

But that doesn't mean the issue is dead.

"I've talked to several board members and they've said, 'look, we're open and we understand there is a need for a high school. Let's figure out how we're going to pay for the expenses once the building is built,'" says Snowden.

Jefferson Davis High School is where many kids in her district go.

"Some of those people would drive 30-40 minutes just to get to Jeff Davis."

She says it was the last traditional high school built in Montgomery more than 40 years ago.

"It's time," says Snowden.

Residents like Coats say a new Eastside high school would only bring students and the community together.

"I think they would all like being in the same place."

Snowden expects the school board to negotiate with the Mayor again.

Mayor Todd Strange says, regardless, he won't have a problem spending those funds on other projects.

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