Council discusses search for location for new school
by Rachel Davis
May 02, 2012 | 2239 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
One of the biggest concerns with building the new Sumiton Elementary School near the existing one is the traffic congestion that currently backs up and impedes traffic on several nearby roads. - Photo by: Rachel Davis
One of the biggest concerns with building the new Sumiton Elementary School near the existing one is the traffic congestion that currently backs up and impedes traffic on several nearby roads. - Photo by: Rachel Davis
slideshow
SUMITON — Sumiton’s City Council heard from Walker County School Superintendent Jason Adkins and school board member Sonia Waid during its regular meeting on Tuesday. Adkins and Waid were at the meeting to update the council on the progress being made on finding a location for the new Sumiton Elementary School.

The BOE has set aside funds to build a new school in Sumiton because the current school is older and badly overcrowded. Several locations have been looked at by the superintendent and board, but no decisions about the final location have been made.

“What we’re looking for is the best piece of property to maximize that money so it goes to the school and the children,” Adkins said.

The new school would house kindergarten through fourth grade because Adkins said that elementary schools are cheaper to build than middle or high schools because of the requirements and needs that must be incorporated into the plans.

Several locations were discussed at the meeting: one on Hull Road, the old B&F lumberyard, one that adjoins the current school and one that would replace the old ballfields near the existing school. There were also a couple of other properties that were discussed as possibilities.

Discussion about many of the properties ranged from community members who were concerned about having a school at the Hull Road location to concerns that some of the properties might not pass site testing. Mayor Petey Ellis informed Adkins and the council that the Hull Road property had been core-drilled and tested for stability.

Adkins said his major concern regarding the properties adjacent to the current school is contributing to the congestion that Sumiton parents currently experience in the car line when picking up and dropping off students.

“Whatever we can do to help,” Ellis said. “We’re not in this to pick and choose, that’s not our job. We’re not here to say, ‘we don’t want it there’ or ‘we want it there.’ We want it — period.”

In other business:

•The council decided they would set up a work session to discuss the specifics of the alcohol ordinance. The council hopes to vote on the ordinance during the first regular meeting in June, which will be June 5.

•The council voted to allot up to $300 for Save Our Strays, a nonprofit devoted to minimizing the number of stray animals by sterilizing the animals they can catch. The funds will be used to pay for the nonprofit’s booth at The Southern Women’s Show.

•The State of Alabama Mine Rescue Contest will be held at the Sumiton Community Center from May 15-17.