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Madison County Schools to build multi-million dollar fine arts center

This will be the district's first fine arts center.

Posted: May 5, 2019 7:33 PM
Updated: May 5, 2019 11:19 PM

A district spokesperson told WAAY 31 the Madison County school system could break ground on its $17.8 million fine arts center as early as the end of the school year. Construction is expected to take about 18 months.

WAAY 31 talked to people about the multi-million dollar project who said they're excited the school system is showing such strong support for the arts.

"That's insane. That's a lot of money," Sparkman High School band student Xavier Sanders said.

Sanders told us he was blown away when he heard the district is spending millions of dollars on the school system's first fine arts center.

"I think it's awesome that it's actually going to the arts program because that's something that you don't usually hear a lot," Sanders said.

A district spokesperson confirmed plans for the fine arts center include an 800-seat theater, band and choir rooms, and art classrooms. The structure is going up on Sparkman High School's campus, and officials say it can be used by any school in the district. Rebecca Rundle, a parent with two children in the Madison County school system, doesn't think that's practical.

"If it's something all of the schools can use that's great, but what's the reality of them being able to use that facility?" Rundle said.

Neither of Rundle's kids go to Sparkman High School.

"They're putting it at one location, at a high school that is the furthest out from all of the other schools. They're not making it accessible for the kids. I mean, how are you going to get your kids there?" Rundle said.

Despite her disappointment in the center's location, Rundle says she supports the arts and, like Sanders, is happy to see the district supporting creativity.

"It makes us feel like the school board and everyone involved in this actually respects and cares about what we do," Sanders said.

In addition to the fine arts center, Sparkman High School is also building a breezeway to connect the main building and freshman center.

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