New high school a possibility for Huntsville - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

New high school a possibility for Huntsville

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Officials with Huntsville City Schools are calling the pending change a "renaissance" of North Huntsville. Officials with Huntsville City Schools are calling the pending change a "renaissance" of North Huntsville.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Monday night, parents and school officials had a chance to meet to discuss the future, more specifically the future for some of the schools in the area.

School leaders spoke about what is ahead for students now at four elementary schools and two middle schools.

Officials with Huntsville City Schools are calling the pending change a "renaissance" of North Huntsville. They said they want schools that are career and college ready.

Plans are in the works to build a new J.O. Johnson high. It is still up for debate on whether the school will be rebuilt in its old location or moved to another place off Pulaski Pike.

Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski said Johnson is one of the oldest schools in the system. 

"It's getting to the point where a lot of the mechanical and operating systems need to be replaced, and that's really the third of the price of a school," he said.   

The change would mean that current students at Rolling Hills Elementary and other schools in the area would attend the new school.   

"Because the idea is that if we build a new Johnson that opens in 2016 it's the 4th and 5th grade parents and students who will be very greatly affected by that," said Director of Operations for Huntsville City Schools, Dr. Jeffery Wilson.  "There kids would go through their 7 to 12 experience at the new Johnson."

School officials met with the community to hear their thoughts on the new plans. Anthony Berry has a son in the 4th grade at Dawson Elementary.  He was not too thrilled about the changes.  

"I was glad they are having a meeting, but it seems they are moving too quickly," he said.   

Parents, grandparents, and teachers voiced their concerns about the changes; the next step are the evaluations. 

"We take all that we back and look at our plans," said Wardynski.  "We see if we can address those concerns if we can't find a way to address those concerns specifically and we make an evaluation."

The new Johnson High is expected to be completed in the fall of 2016. The project will cost about $60-million. 

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