Student speaks out against new Sparkman High plan - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Student speaks out against new Sparkman High plan

Sparkman High School Sparkman High School

A Madison County student is speaking out against plans for a new high school in the Monrovia area.

Sparkman High 2013 class president Patrick Fitzgerald agrees that the school has overcrowding issues, but he said a new Sparkman High is unwanted and unneeded.  

"I can promise you 1,800 kids at Sparkman High would give the same testament," Fitzgerald said.  He is upset about possible changes in the Madison County school system that could potentially impact his school.

"At the end of the day, you are going to divide the haves and the have not's. You're going to create an elitist school at the expense of another school failing that doesn't have the tax base to support itself," he said.

Superintendent Dr. David Copeland said a lot of questions have been asked about the pending changes and it will take time.   

"Anytime you split a school, period, of any size and any city or county in any state, everybody is not going to be happy," he said.   

Copeland said Madison County Schools were given $55.9-million in BRAC funding.  The school system added $20-million to the total and changes are in the works.

"The capital plan that was approved by the board has due, in order: a new high school in Monrovia, a new intermediate building just north of Lynn Fanning Elementary School (probably grades 4 through 6), and then a new academic building at Madison County Elementary and then a new 7 through 8 grade wing added to Madison County High School for the Gurley and the central students," Copeland said.   

Fitzgerald said he and his fellow students have another idea in mind.  

"What we propose should happen is to go with the original plan, spend $20-million and alleviate some of the crowding we have at Sparkman, and then there we would have our mega campus there," he said.   

Copeland said the plan is well thought out by the board and school officials are moving forward.

"There is absolutely no set design or even act of discussion or redistricting or how that's going to look and it will look different but I would just caution people not to assume anything at this point."

Fitzgerald started a website to have his voice heard.  He said 98 percent of the students are not in favor of building a new high school. 

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