Dougherty Co. School Board not ready to make Albany High decisio - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty Co. School Board not ready to make Albany High decision

The school board discussed the closing of AHS proposal Wednesday. (Source: WALB) The school board discussed the closing of AHS proposal Wednesday. (Source: WALB)
Velvet Poole is the school board chair. (Source: WALB) Velvet Poole is the school board chair. (Source: WALB)
Two public hearings have been held. (Source: WALB) Two public hearings have been held. (Source: WALB)
Melissa Strother is a school board member. (Source: WALB) Melissa Strother is a school board member. (Source: WALB)
Dr. Dean Phinazee is a school board member. (Source: WALB) Dr. Dean Phinazee is a school board member. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Members of the Dougherty County school board said Wednesday they are not ready to make a decision about closing Albany High School.

In a regularly scheduled board meeting, the board discussed the potential closing. 

It's been a hot topic since April 25th when the Dougherty County School System staff made a recommendation to close Albany High School. 

Two public hearings were held in the last few weeks. One was held on Tuesday.

There a number of residents and parents expressed their concerns, including Melvin Drake.  

"This has not been a well-planned decision. It's the worst decision and it's not going to work," said Drake. 

Superintendent Dr.David Mosely said if the board adopts the proposal, the system will save an estimated 1.1 million dollars each year.

There has been a decline in enrollment in the school system wide. It's down 2,048 students since 2004. 

On Wednesday the board members discussed the potential closing. 

 "I'm still digesting the news that this is even something we are looking at," said board member Melissa Strother.

Geraldine West Hudley is new to school board. 

"When I'm well informed I'll make a decision," said Hudley.

Chair of the board, Velvet Poole said there was not one board member who was ready to vote. 

"All the board members feel that we need time to review the information we have gathered from the first two public hearings," said Poole. 

She said the board appreciates the number of people that came out for the hearings. 

One board member asked for more data and costs if the school were to be moved. Others want to hear practical alternatives, like Dr. Dean Phinazee. 

"What do we do? Most of the people I talked with don't offer alternatives, they just say don't close it," explained Phinazee.

No timeline has been set on when a decision will be made.

On Wednesday Dr. Mosely urged the board to think fast. 

"I plea with you to not drag it out any longer. We want you to have the information," said Mosely.

The full proposal from the Dougherty County School System staff can be found here.

You can also see the questions community members brought up at the two hearings. 

Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved. 

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