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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2007
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Due to money, no new schools for Priceville, Falkville until 2012

By Bayne Hughes
hughes@decaturdaily.com · 340-2432

Due to money availability, 2012 would be the earliest Priceville and Falkville could get new schools.

Morgan County Superintendent Bob Balch told a committee working on a capital project plan that the school board couldn’t go to the bond market to borrow money again for another four years.

Priceville will need a school soon as enrollment grows. Committee members agreed that, with the addition of six classrooms at the elementary school, the school board could build a junior high instead of a high school and solve overcrowding issues.

Maintenance and Transportation Director Bruce Kimbrell estimated that a junior high would cost about $13 million while a high school would run more than $20 million.

Falkville High School is the oldest school in the system that hasn’t had any work lately.

The aging school has black mold and rodent and brown recluse spider infestations. It’s also spread out, making it a safety issue.

At the request of Principal Paul Thomas and school member Betty Hackett, the committee changed this year’s expansion project at Lacey’s Spring School.

In its first meeting, the committee discussed building four classrooms and a library, while renovating the old library into two classrooms.

The committee agreed instead to build six classrooms in one building to accomplish Thomas’ goal of separating the elementary and junior high students.

Thomas suggested the school system could move the library into the old gym, which would require only minor renovations and would double the size of the library. The old library space would then become a computer lab with an instructional area.

The committee completed its proposed plan, which the school board will consider at its September meeting.

In addition to classrooms at Priceville, Danville-Neel and West Morgan elementaries and Lacey’s Spring, the committee scheduled mostly roofing and air conditioning projects during 2008.

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