New Monrovia High on track for 2017 opening - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

New Monrovia High on track for 2017 opening

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Administrators have narrowed their search for a new campus location down to one primary site and one backup site. Administrators have narrowed their search for a new campus location down to one primary site and one backup site.
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MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

A new high school bearing the Monrovia name is closer to becoming reality. Madison County school leaders said Thursday night they whittled down locations for a new campus to two possible contenders.

Superintendent Dr. David Copeland gave a quick update, saying that of numerous pieces of land considered, administrators have narrowed their search down to one primary site and one backup site. The school system declined to identify either location.

The plan is to alleviate overcrowding at Madison County's Sparkman High School by building a new, $46 million Monrovia High School. The district said the decision on which parcel of land to buy hinges on a vast array of issues.

"We could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars widening roads, putting in water service or gas service, upgrading electrical service and even sewer service," said Kerry Wilkerson. "Those are all big factors that will help determine the cost of the land, and that will help us determine which is the best value."

As the district looked over one farm field after another, administrators were concerned about running out of time to use BRAC funds allocated for the Monrovia High project. Bonds had to be spent and construction finished by June 2016 or else. But the story changed after discussions with the state's finance department.

"We've now received word that if we're well under construction, that it could exceed that time, so it's not necessarily as drop-dead a deadline as we felt," said Dr. Copeland.

Dr. Copeland said the board is working diligently to get the land purchase done quickly. He said it was their goal to make the best possible decision for students.

He said the new Monrovia High School will be ready to open by Fall 2017.

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