Madison superintendent Robby Parker is warning parents and taxpayers the city's growth isn't expected to stagnate in the near future, and the district will need to build and expand schools as a result.
Parker says the district is already projecting a 3,000-student increase, and the proposed Limestone County Toyota-Mazda plant located near city limits will likely have a greater impact.
"We don't know exactly how that's going to impact us, but we know that we will get more students," Parker says.
The district will need a projected $113 million to build a new elementary and middle school along with expanding both Bob Jones High School and James Clemens High School. This funding will go toward making sure there is enough space to handle the influx of students, which is expected to reach its peak in 2028. Parker may have to ask for increased taxes to help fund the growth.
"We're going to gain about 3,000 students in the next ten years, but in order to implement all the great programs that we have we gotta have space," Parker says.
Madison City Schools parent Kim Taylor says her three children attend schools in the district, and her youngest child will not graduate until 2032. When she heard tax increases were on the table, she shared concerns, but she says she understands the need to prevent overcrowding.
"The impact is going to be vast," Taylor said, "It's just a matter now of seeing what that number looks like behind the dollar sign."
Parker says he is awaiting a report from a committee which will provide funding options for the new and expanded buildings.