MADISON, Ala. (WAFF) - Earlier this week some Madison City residents expressed their concerns about the city’s growth leading to overcrowding in the school system.
Present in that city council meeting where residents spoke out was Madison City School District Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols. He also spoke with city council during that meeting. On Wednesday our crews sat down with Dr. Nichols to talk about how the growth of the city will impact the schools.
Part of the reason why the school district is growing, Dr. Nichols said is because so many people move to the city because of the school system’s ranking. He said just recently the school district was ranked number one in the state according to NICHE reports.
The superintendent said the Madison City School district has been on the brink of overcrowding for as long as he can remember, however; they have a plan to stay one step ahead of the student population.
“We develop our new strategic plan in January this new year and we are looking ahead for five years to be sure we can be ready when that happens,” Dr. Nichols said.
That strategic planning process will begin with a survey.
“We will open that up to community members and we will have about a 40 person strategic planning committee made up of stakeholders in our committee,” Dr. Nichols said.
School leaders will then decide whether to build new schools or add to the current buildings. The school district is also underway with building two new schools already.
Dr. Nichols said the district is responsible for educating students from the city of Madison and Triana, and with the growth he expects they will need more room. Dr. Nichols said funding for these potential additions would be determined later.
“There are a couple of options. One to see if people want to give an increase in ad revenue and another option is impact fees. There’s a question as to whether schools can be apart of it or not,” Dr. Nichols said. “Then there’s a sales tax we had a sales tax we had a half cent sales tax put on when James Clemens was put out and can that be renewed to run longer.”
Triana Councilman, Jason Garstka has two children in the school district.
He said he is confident in the district’s future plans.
“It’s growing by the day with two schools being built currently,” Councilman Gartska said. “I believe that will address most of the issues. Triana is very happy to be apart of the Madison City School System.”