If teachers are losing jobs, why build a new high school? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

If teachers are losing jobs, why build a new high school?

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

PELHAM, GA (WALB) - Severe school budget cuts in Pelham that will eliminate up to 50 jobs raised a lot of questions from concerned citizens.

Many people contacted us wanting to know why a new high school is being built in Pelham when dozens of teachers are losing their jobs.

Superintendent Dr. Paul Fanning says the board decided to build the school spring 2007 before the economy plummeted.

And when finances got tight he says they were already too far along to stop building.

Still, a lot of people tell us they think the project hurt the community and wasn't thought out properly.

"This is a small town. They took tax payer money for unnecessary stuff to be built right here in Pelham. And I feel like this school should have never been built," says Alice Griffin of Pelham.

The superintendent says they got a 4 million dollar state grant for the project.

But rising construction and petroleum costs forced them to dip into local reserves to make payments.

The school is scheduled to open in the summer of 2010. But the school system must find money to buy furniture for the building.

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