What schools need to remain open? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

What schools need to remain open?

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Public hearings Monday will allow citizens to discuss a proposal to close some Dougherty County schools. Since board members announced they were considering the move, people in East Albany have voiced their concerns.

Under the plan, two schools in that community would be shut down. The first of two public hearings is underway. Board members agree that some schools need to be closed, the question is: which ones?

Chris Bailey, who owns Tay's Restaurant in East Albany, is a Dougherty Middle School alumnus, along with his three children. Now he's trying to save the school from closing. "I'm just one person, one voice, but we need to get more people behind us to let our representatives know, hey look, not our school, not now. Let's redo this, let's rethink this, hold on."

Consultants presented school board members with a plan to close Dougherty Middle and Sylvester Road Elementary and re-purpose Magnolia Elementary. If it goes through it would save the system two million dollars a year in the general fund and avoid $11 million in needed renovations to those schools.

Some East Albany residents say this is all happening too fast. But school board chairman, Carol Tharin says they started looking at the student population back in October of 2011. "So this is not anything new. It's not something we pulled out of the air in the last few weeks, or the last few months. It's been an ongoing study."

School board members agree that some schools need to be closed due to the declining student population. But which schools has become the center of the debate.

 "We know we're going to have to close, one middle school and one or two elementary schools. And I want to see their proposals for various options so that we can make a decision that's the best decision money wise and community wise," said School board member Lane Price.

The occupancy at Sylvester Road Elementary is at 108%, more than many of the other schools. But student population isn't the only thing school board members are looking at. "We look at the age of the school, the status of the building itself, what does it need does it have to be brought up to some new codes? Can we add on? There's just a lot that has got to be addressed," said Price.

And school board members are hoping that two public hearings will help guide them in their decision.

There's no specific deadline to make a decision, but board members are expected to vote on the proposal at their February 11th school board meeting. Another public hearing is scheduled for Thursday at noon.

 

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Woman OK after morning car fire in Albany

    Woman OK after morning car fire in Albany

    Friday, May 25 2018 12:36 PM EDT2018-05-25 16:36:43 GMT
    Crews work to put out car fire (Source: WALB)Crews work to put out car fire (Source: WALB)
    Crews work to put out car fire (Source: WALB)Crews work to put out car fire (Source: WALB)

    The passenger of a car that caught on fire Friday morning is OK. A woman said she was driving to work on GA Highway 300 when she took the Slappey Boulevard South exit. 

    More >>

    The passenger of a car that caught on fire Friday morning is OK. A woman said she was driving to work on GA Highway 300 when she took the Slappey Boulevard South exit. 

    More >>
  • Trees could causes issues after heavy rain

    Trees could causes issues after heavy rain

    Friday, May 25 2018 12:32 PM EDT2018-05-25 16:32:26 GMT
    Harper Tree Service working in East Albany on a removal project (Source WALB)Harper Tree Service working in East Albany on a removal project (Source WALB)
    Harper Tree Service working in East Albany on a removal project (Source WALB)Harper Tree Service working in East Albany on a removal project (Source WALB)

    Rain is expected over the weekend and one major concern right now is falling trees. The moist ground after weeks of dry weather making tree susceptible to toppling over.

    More >>

    Rain is expected over the weekend and one major concern right now is falling trees. The moist ground after weeks of dry weather making tree susceptible to toppling over.

    More >>
  • GSP: Turn around, don't drown

    GSP: Turn around, don't drown

    Friday, May 25 2018 12:28 PM EDT2018-05-25 16:28:41 GMT
    Truck filled with water as it sits parked in the street (Source: WALB)Truck filled with water as it sits parked in the street (Source: WALB)
    Truck filled with water as it sits parked in the street (Source: WALB)Truck filled with water as it sits parked in the street (Source: WALB)

    Messy weather over the Memorial Day weekend has state troopers concerned. wet roadways and heavy travel can be deadly. Georgia State Patrol is telling drivers to turn around so you don't drown.  

    More >>

    Messy weather over the Memorial Day weekend has state troopers concerned. wet roadways and heavy travel can be deadly. Georgia State Patrol is telling drivers to turn around so you don't drown.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly