By Sarrah Peters
On Monday, Attalla city officials held a groundbreaking for the new Etowah Middle School.
The 35,000 feet new school will be built where the old Etowah High School used to be. The building’s design incorporates some of the
remaining structures, to make the most out of the resources available. The contract is in the 4.7 million dollar range.
“The school board has gotten an extremely high value building for a very small amount of money to build this,”said Walt McKeehan from McKeehan Associates.
Construction will begin soon, and McKeehan hopes that the building will be completed by the next school year.
“We look forward to having the school ready for fall of next year,” said McKeehan.
Superintendent of Attalla City Schools David Bowman thanked State Representative Craig Ford for contributing to the new school building.
Ford spoke at the ceremony about the importance of schools.
“This is for you, and this is for our educators,” said Ford, addressing the teachers and administrators that attended. “I said this
since day one, without the children, there is no public education, and without our educators, there is no public education. Those are our two
most important resources in the classroom, and we want to thank every one of you that I’m looking at right now.”
Ford obtained a $120,000 grant for technology that was split between the three school systems.
Ford went on to discuss the recent pay raise for teachers that with a “backdoor approach” also raised the teacher’s health insurance rates. He also discussed charter schools.
“What’s happening in Montgomery is they are trying to rob the education trust fund and put more money into these charter schools and the Accountability Act that they passed,” said Ford. “All that is doing is taking money from facilities like this and from our children.”
Attalla Mayor Larry Means also addressed the ceremony attendees.
“I want to thank Mr. Bowman and the board for having the vision to do this,” said Means. “I went to school where the old middle school is now. A lot of us did, but it is time [for a new building].”