School improvements coming to Madison County Schools

The Madison County Board of Education approved a plan that calls for millions in projects to schools across the district.

Posted: Apr 24, 2018 10:57 PM

New improvements are on the way for Madison County Schools.

The Madison County Board of Education voted 4-1 Tuesday to approve funding for a capital plan.

Right after approving the plan the board approved a bid for a project to fix a leaky roof and ventilation at Hazel Green Elementary.

The work will begin shortly.

For every project on the capital plan the board will need to vote like that.

This list of projects replaces the board of educations plans to build a new high school in Monrovia.

"I like this plan better than the building the high school, because I mainly felt that we couldn't fund it and so I like this change better, because it seems more doable and other schools are getting taken care of in their needs," said Parent Amy Dance.

The capital plan has projects for school safety, infrastructure improvements, and school expansions.

It is a big step for the district, because they will be using Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, funding Madison County secured in 2013.

Originally, the board of education got into a contract with the Madison County Commission promising the $43 million in BRAC funding would pay for a new high school in Monrovia.

"It's been a tough situation. It's been really tough on the board members. They take their word seriously and want to honor those commitments, but there's a point where are you just gonna fulfill a contract that you know is bad for your school district, or impossible to fulfill, or will you do whats right for students," said Madison County Schools Superintendent Matt Massey.

Right now, the district is trying to settle with the county commission over the breaking of the contract.

"We did a contract with expectations at the madison county commission. It also said what was expected of the madison county board of education. We've done everything we've been asked to do. They're the ones who have breached the contract," said Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong.

The Madison County Commission will possibly decide on if they'll accept the $2 million settlement from the district next week at their regular meeting, which could possibly release the district from the contract that requires them to build a new high school.

Dance is glad the improvement projects will be happening and she's happy a new high school is off the table, but she would have liked to see the board of education wait for the county commissioners to make their decision first.

"I think that would have been best," said Dance.

A half cent sales tax increase was talked about Tuesday by the board of education as a way to increasing funding for the district.

That increase would have to be approved by the county commission, but the board made no decisions about whether or not they'll ask the county commission for that tax increase.

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