MUSCLE SHOALS — The city Board of Education on Monday unanimously approved an eight-program career technical center at a cost of $5.9 million.
The project is expected to take a year to complete, with students attending classes at the new facility adjacent to Muscle Shoals High School in January 2014. The board also authorized entering into an agreement with Joe Jolly and Associates, of Florence, for funding representation for the new center. Superintendent Jeff Wooten did not say how much of the money would be pursued through bonds. Some of the system’s capital money could be used for the project, board President Pam Doyle said. The board has previously discussed using up to $3 million of the system’s capital reserve funds.
In addition, the board approved an agreement so local money used on the project could be reimbursed.
During the work session preceding Monday’s meeting, the career technical director, Gary Dan Williams, said he would be disappointed if the board didn’t fund all 10 of what he describes as, “much needed programs.”
“We’ll do the best we can with what we’re given,” he said. “Our students need more opportunities in career tech. A facility that allows for no expansion (such as the approved eight programs) would be a great concern,” he said. “I’d love to see us get students back at our center from the Colbert County schools, but with an eight-program facility there isn’t room.”
Wooten said the school will allow for the automechanics and building construction programs to be located on the new campus, instead of remaining at the current center by the school board building. Wooten said it would alleviate the need for a split campus.
Lisa Singleton-Rickman can be reached at 256-740-5735 or lisa.singleton-rickman@TimesDaily.com.