New strategic plan spurs continued improvements in Autauga Count - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

New strategic plan spurs continued improvements in Autauga County schools

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Major renovation at Prattville HS lunchroom (Source: WSFA 12 News) Major renovation at Prattville HS lunchroom (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Improvements at Autauga County Technology Center. (Source: WSFA 12 News) Improvements at Autauga County Technology Center. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
AUTAUGA CO., AL (WSFA) -

A new school year in Autauga County has also marked the launch of a major improvement plan.  

A number of different projects are geared at moving the school system forward over the next several years.

“We’ve adopted our new five year strategic plan. This five years we’re going to be focusing on our capital improvement of our facilities,” said Superintendent Spence Agee. “We’re going to be doing a lot of refurbishing and also continue to focus on academics to drive our ACT scores and our academics to a higher level each year."

The system has already started on those capital improvements. Prattville Kindergarten School got a new roof. New intercom systems were installed at Prattville High School, Prattville Elementary School and Autauga County Technology Center. The parking lot at Prattville Elementary was paved. Numerous flooring projects were done to put new carpet and tile down in different locations.

“We’re so excited and we’re always striving to make things better for our students,” Agee said.

On Wednesday, the first day of school went smoothly at the system’s 14 schools, which educate 9,500 students. There were lots of smiling faces at Prattville Elementary School as the children got adjusted to their new classrooms. At Prattville High School, there were encouraging words for students as they were urged to stay focused.

“This morning we had our senior ride-in and we prayed together and all did the pledge. We played some music and had a lot of fun,” said Madison Northington, SGA Treasurer. “We’re just trying to make everything run smoothly, provide our students with whatever they need and just make sure everyone feels welcome.”

“I’m excited this year because one thing I want to stress is student involvement and I’m excited to see what myself, SGA and the rest of the school can do together,” said Alec Taylor, SGA President.

The lunchroom at Prattville High School cranks out 15 different entrees every day. It’s a massive operation that’s a well-oiled machine thanks to Cindy Terrell and her team.

“It takes 14 of us working very hard to feed all of the children,” Terrell said.

They serve about 1000 students each day in addition to 350-400 at breakfast. A nearly $500,000 renovation is helping the lunchroom run more efficiently than ever.  

“The new $80,000 hood brings an air curtain in that prevents work in the lunchroom from disrupting the flow of the air conditioning from the rest of the buildings,” Terrell said. “Each side has eight air conditioning vents that come down and it blows down on there and keeps it cool in here.”

It turns on automatically and moves itself up and down to generate the fan speeds so that it only runs enough power needed to pull the exhaust out of the kitchen. Fire suppression is built into it.

There’s also all new LED lighting in the lunchroom, which will cut the cost of power and better lights up food prep areas. A new HVAC system is providing a more consistent air flow which is helping with the humidity, cost, and effectiveness of the crew.

“It’s made us more modern and up to date in here,” Terrell said.

There’s also new equipment, including an oven/steamer combo.

“It has preloaded recipes and you can bring up whatever you want to cook. It replaces two pieces of equipment in the kitchen,” Terrell said. "We don’t have to fry anymore so we have more equipment that actually produces a better quality in the lunchroom.”

Over at the Autauga County Technology Center, there’s new carpeting and flooring in three classrooms, and buildings on the campus are more clearly labeled.

“We have new signage that was part of a grant from the State of Alabama and also part donation from the Prattville Chamber of Commerce so we’re very thankful for that partnership we have,” said Administrator Deana Goodwine.

The technology center has different programs for students, whether they are interested in going straight into careers from high school or into college.

“We have programs that would prepare them for engineering, accounting, all the business routes, as well as welding and automotive. We have networking classes. We also offer several certification tests,” Goodwine said.

This year, the Autauga County Technology Center has a new course called Landscape Design.  It is going to be offered at Marbury High School.

Overall, Superintendent Agee felt the first day of school was a success and helped set the pace for a great school year ahead.

“We have had a wonderful opening day of school for this year. I’m so excited,” he said.  “It’s always so rewarding after we’ve worked hard all summer long to get the schools ready, cleaned up, all the plans in place and to see those smiling faces come in on the first day of school. It just doesn’t get any better than that.”

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