May 18, 2005
by Dave Miller
Valdosta-- As Moody Air Force Base grows, so must the Lowndes County School System.
The recent BRAC announcement of base closures and realignments sent about fifty new aircraft to Moody. A-10 Warthog jets from Eielson Air Force Base, near Fairbanks, Alaska, and Pope Air Force Base near Fayetteville, North Carolina will be relocated to Moody, adding about 575 slots to the on board strength of the base.
These will more than offset the 600 pilots who will be transferred out of Moody when the pilot training mission ends. The pilots in training are generally young, single men, but the incoming personnel are mostly married men, many with young children. These dependents will cause the need for at least three new schools to be built in Lowndes County.
The county school board plans to build two new elementary schools, a new middle school, and a new high school to accommodate Moody's dependants. Moody is also expanding its off-base housing, which may motivate many city dwellers to move into the county, where they would attend the county school system.
The new schools will be built with SPLOST and state funds, and should all be operational within five years.
We will have more on this story this evening on WALB News 10.