Federal grant will fund a new high school in Ozark

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Ozark, AL (WSFA) – School leaders in Ozark have found a way to build a new Carroll High School.

After a property tax vote failed in April, school leaders applied for and won a federal School Construction grant totaling $22,074,000.

They announced the news in a joint meeting with the city council Wednesday afternoon.

Les Perault said, "It's a great day for the city of Ozark."

Perault has a daughter who's a senior at Carroll High School and a first grader who will one day walk the halls at the new school.

"It's just great knowing that there will be a first class facility here in the city of Ozark to educate not only my daughter, but all the other youth here in Ozark as well," he said.

The school system applied for the grant last year but didn't qualify.  But thanks to work done in preparation for the tax vote, this year, the school did qualify, and it was shovel ready.

The old Carroll High was built in the 1950's and is in disrepair.

After dealing with things like sinkholes and sewage disasters, teachers like Katie Craddock say they couldn't be more excited to hear the news.

"I think the city of Ozark will just climb upwards because of this because a school is so important for economic growth and development in any city.  To think we could be teaching in a state of the art school, it's just great."

The new school will be built adjacent to the old school, and students will still be able to attend classes while construction is taking place.

School officials expect to break ground as soon as April; they say it could take around two and a half years to complete.

The grant won't cover the entire cost of the new school; school leaders say they'll have to seek out smaller grants to fund the rest of the project.

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