DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - As Dothan City Schools moves forward on school consolidations for next year, they are also taking on major renovations.
The board approved a $15 million bond for the system to make upgrades. Mike Manuel, chief financial officer for the system says every school needs some kind of repairs.
"Most of these needs have nothing to do with restructuring. They are things that have to be done, " said Manuel. “This will give us an opportunity to really address some of the major needs in the system.”
He said some of the major needs include roof repairs, air conditioning replacements, updating bathrooms, and adding elevators to Dothan High School which will serve as the new junior high school for 7th-9th graders. The elevators will ensure that the system is compliant with the American Disabilities Act.
Although the system has three years to spend the money, they’ll start working next month on making repairs.
“Things that have to be done to start school in August, they’re going to take priority first,” said Manuel.
The system also plans to make safety upgrades at schools like building a secure entry point in schools. The area would serve as a buffer zone to check a visitor’s identity before they enter the school.
In addition to major renovations, the system will also complete smaller cosmetic changes.
While Dothan High School will be converted into Dothan’s junior high school. Northview High School will be renamed Dothan High School for 10th-12th graders. Students in the system collaborated to come up with the name change. The high school’s new mascot also changes from a cougar to a wolf and the school colors are changing to cardinal, black and gold.
“Some of the colors are the same, so we may be able to leave that. In the gym we have a big cougar on the wall. They’re going to be wolves, so that obviously has to be corrected,” said Manuel.
The board also approved an architectural engineering firm to complete the work during Tuesday’s meeting.
The bond has a 2.79 percent interest for 11 years. Manuel said it’s structured to not overtax the cash flow of the system. The first two years of payments will just be the interest on the loan and not the principal payment. That will give the system time to finish payments on another bond secured previously that was used to pay for the construction of several schools in the system.