MPS Interim Superintendent calls on city/county for help - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

MPS Interim Superintendent calls on city/county for help

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The project to revamp a portion of the old Montgomery Mall is now on hold.

Interim Montgomery Public School Superintendent Margaret Allen says the school system doesn't have enough money to renovate the old mall.

Now, she's calling on city and county officials to help fund the project.

"We fall a little short," said Allen during a Chamber of Commerce event with city and county officials and the school board.

Allen spoke candidly about the school system's finances.

"If your interest [in helping] comes with trees, money trees, I'd welcome a conversation with you," she said to House Representative Joe Hubbard.

The Montgomery Mall project includes moving the system's MTEC program and Loveless Academic Magnet school to the mall.

The school system has already purchased the Parisian building.

Montgomery Public School officials say nothing has been canceled when it comes to the project, but there just isn't a way to fund it right now.

"We're still just hoping to be able to work things out," says Allen.

Officials say the county commission will be assisting--$1 million dollars each year; however, it's unclear how long that will last.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says city funds aren't out of the question, either.

"We would certainly be willing to have that conversation. We certainly have helped in the past. We helped with Carver, we helped with Park Crossing," says Strange.

"Hearing from county, city and everybody else, ya know, how they can support us, is always going to be a key piece to the work."

Former superintendent Barbara Thompson suggested getting a $30 to $40 million dollar bond issue to pay for the project.

Ever since she left, the bond issue hasn't been mentioned much.

However, Allen says the project won't happen by way of existing monies.

A new revenue stream would be required, with help to pay the debt each year.

MPS also had plans to also purchase the JC-Penney building.

That agreement is not final.

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