PIKE ROAD, AL (WSFA) - After a settlement between the Alabama Education Association and State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey was announced this week, Pike Road Schools is a step closer to securing Georgia Washington Middle School as its third campus.
The Town of Pike Road is near the finish line in purchasing the school from Montgomery Public Schools.
"The contract's all finalized, and they're moving toward a closing date in the very near future," Pike Road Schools Superintendent Dr. Chuck Ledbetter said.
Pike Road Schools has been adding an additional grade level each year since it started in August 2015. Next fall will be the first year PRS has 11th graders. Ledbetter said, for the 2018-2109 school year, the Georgia Washington campus will be used for 8th through 11th graders.
"We're adding a class, and it's exciting," Ledbetter said. "That will be our Georgia Washington campus forever, and we are very excited about it."
This means that the first graduating class from PRS will graduate from the Georgia Washington Campus.
"What she has done, and the historical facts there are just so priceless, especially what she did in education to make a difference to make sure every child got a quality education," Ledbetter said. "That's what we're committed to. To be caretakers of that is something we are really excited about."
With 8th through 11th graders moving to the Georgia Washington Campus, there will be a shift in the other two campuses as well. The Pike Road Historic School, which is where 7th through 10th graders attended this school year, will house 5th through 7th graders next school year. Kindergarteners through 4th graders will attend Pike Road Elementary School next school year.
Parents like Chris Judy, whose daughter is going into 9th grade, said he is excited about the new campus.
"It's actually closer to our house, which helps out a lot," Judy said. "I'm very excited for her to get into new surroundings."
For months, it was unclear whether PRS would be able to acquire the property because of a conflict involving the AEA and state takeover of MPS. PRS was preparing to invest in portables to serve its students, in case the sale could not go through.
"I love the fact that it's growing," Judy said. "I wouldn't want to see them in trailers in the back of the campus here, so it's perfect."
Ledbetter said PRS is ready to get the facility ready to serve students and teachers in early August. Once the deal closes, the Town of Pike Road will purchase Georgia Washington from Montgomery Public Schools for $9.85 million.