Pike Road residents give feedback on school system plans

Pike Road residents give feedback on school system plans
The first graduating class from Pike Road Schools will graduate from the Georgia Washington Campus.

PIKE ROAD, AL (WSFA) - Parents with children enrolled in Pike Road Schools got the opportunity to weigh in on which route the system takes to move forward a stakeholders forum on Tuesday night. The forum was held at Pike Road Middle School at 6 p.m.

"I think there are more options than just have two plans. I think we need to expand and explore other options," said Pike Road Schools parent Elizabeth Leatherwood.

Others had different priorities.

"We don't need to expand to an athletic complex first. We need to put our money where our education is," said Pike Road Schools parent Michael Henig.

The Town Council has $24 million in bond money to spend on PRS. That includes the $9.8 million to buy GW and the $1.4 million it gave back to the state when the state accidentally gave that money to PRS instead of MPS.

Henig believes some of that money should be put to different areas.

"We still have kids in trailers at the elementary school. We have kids eating lunch in the hallways here. The money could go toward an expansion here," said Henig.

The town plans to fully renovate GW and add a career tech facility to the Trotman land. The two plans are different by where the athletic complex will go. However Town of Pike Road Mayor Gordon stone said neither plan is set in stone.

To residents like Alice and Clemmie Blair, who live right across from the Trotman Property, the proposed expansions would be good news.

"I feel excited. I feel very very good because I think it means growth," said Alice Blair.

"You want to hold your property value and, you know, expand," said Clemmie Blair.

Stone said the council wants to invest the money in a way that will provide for now and years to come. He said builders and engineers would like concrete plans soon to start having improvements in place by next school year but the council wants to make the best decision.

On July 30, the Pike Road Town Council held a joint work session, that was open to the public, with the Pike Road Schools Board of Education.

Councilwoman Betsy Atkins said two plans were presented at the work session. Both plans included actions to renovate and update the Georgia Washington school campus and create space for athletics and career technology offerings.

Atkins said a final decision by Sept. 1 is ideal.

Residents also looked at plans to expand arts, enrollment, athletics and other academic programming, adding their feedback. Feedback the town and district said will help them move forward.

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