MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery County Schools leaders voted Tuesday to sell Georgia Washington Middle School and its 23 acres to the town of Pike Road, a move Pike Road Mayor Gordon Stone called a win-win for both sides.
Stone floated the idea first to Montgomery County Schools leaders because Pike Road is growing and needs a high school fast.
"Because of the way the growth of our community has been, it just made a lot of sense to continue to have that dialogue, so we did pursue that," Stone said.
Pike Road will pay more than $11 million in nine payments over a period of about 10 years. Although the vote was close among Montgomery County school board members, it apparently came down to the fact it was an offer the school district couldn't refuse.
Montgomery County schools are in a financial crisis and desperately needed the money.
Economically, it made sense for Pike Road. Building a new high school would cost around $40 million, according to Ledbetter.
Part of the agreement includes leaving the Georgia Washington name as is and not disturbing Washington's grave on school grounds. It's an unusual distinction for the school and one Ledbetter sees as a teachable moment for future high school students.
"It's an opportunity, a teachable opportunity and make sure the students understand the legacy of Miss Washington and that commitment from her," said Ledbetter.
As to where Georgia Washington students will go next year, Montgomery County school officials say that process is being worked out, but they are confident there is enough room at several Montgomery County schools to accommodate them all. Georgia Washington Middle School currently has grades 6th through 8th.
Pike Road takes ownership in June, and classes will begin next fall. Right now, Pike Road has two schools for K through 6 and Pike Road Historic School for 7th through 10th grades.