McKenzie residents fight for school at BOE meeting

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

GEORGIANA, AL (WSFA) -  A packed gym of McKenzie Tiger faithful sat before the Butler County Board of Education hoping members wouldn't vote to close their school.

"I felt like basically we were standing in front of a loaded gun waiting for it to go off," says parent, Rachel Ballard.

Despite rumors to the contrary, board members say a vote was never scheduled for the meeting.

Instead, they were simply looking at cost-cutting measures which included possibly closing McKenzie school--a move that could save more than $150-thousand dollars.

But parents like Rachel Ballard are still nervous.

"I'm relieved for the moment, but I assure you the stress will rebuild by the next board meeting."

Vote or not, the McKenzie family made itself known sending a loud message of just how important the school is to them.

"I knew there was going to be a lot of people here because McKenzie is supported by our community. Our community supports everything," says 8th grader, Kristen Cook.

While members of the McKenzie community are relieved no decision was made, they know one will be. And they say that's why they're not going down without another fight.

"We will go down kicking and screaming...without a doubt. We bleed blue and gold. If you cut us tonight, that's what color would be swimming from our veins," adds Ballard.

And while the school's future is still uncertain, McKenzie supporters know what their's holds.

"Lots of praying, lots of fundraisers maybe," says 8th grader, Mallorie Lewis.

School board members tell us they don't plan to make a decision on those cost-cutting measures until they see Governor Bentley's 2012 budget.

Copyright 2011 WSFA. All rights reserved.