Huntsville, Madison City Schools superintendents talk expansion plans

Huntsville, Madison City Schools superintendents talk expansion plans
Huntsville City and Madison City Schools superintendents responding to plans to address rising class numbers. (Source: WAFF)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) -Thousands of new jobs are coming to the Tennessee Valley, and that means local schools have to plan for more desks.

Huntsville City and Madison City Schools superintendents responding to plans to address rising class numbers.
Huntsville City and Madison City Schools superintendents responding to plans to address rising class numbers. (Source: WAFF)

Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Christie Finley tells WAFF they are currently working on phase two of the capital plan. Meaning, she's working with the board and district staff to renovate and add on to existing schools.

She also says the district is also talking about building new schools. However, Finley says there aren't any concrete plans in place yet.

She tells us the district is hoping for the governor to approve a million dollar bond assurance. That money would go to schools all over the state. Finley can’t answer when that bond would be approved, or even if it will be approved. Until then, she says she sees this as an opportunity.

"We don't see it as a challenge we see it as an opportunity. Because not only are they coming here for because of the industry and the innovation that our city offers, but also the quality of education that they’re going to receive. And all the opportunity our students have in Huntsville city,” Finley said.

The city of Madison is booming as well.

Superintendent for Madison City Schools, Robby Parker tells us they have plans to create more seats for all levels of the district. That includes pre-k, elementary, middle and high school students.

Recently the district announced the name for the new elementary school. It’s called Midtown elementary. That school will hold 900 students.

The current elementary only allows for 500. When the new elementary is open, Parker says the old elementary school will become the pre-k school.

Right now Parker says it’s a lottery system to get your child into the pre-k program But after Midtown elementary is open, Parker says every child in the district will be able to enroll in prek-k.

Parker says a new middle school will be built behind the central office and will open in 2022. And there’s plans to add 500 seats to both Bob Jones and James Clemens High schools.

“My goals was to just find seats for everyone. And as a community we came together and passed a 12 mill property tax which allowed us to borrow approximately $100 million. And that's how we're building the new elementary, the new middle and adding on to both Bob Jones and James Clemens,” Parker said.

Parker’s last day with the district is February 28, and he says he feels like the district is in a great spot to keep up the momentum.

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