Board approves #036;155,000 land purchase for Georgiana school

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 9, 2007

A new school in Georgiana moved one step closer to reality on Thursday as the Board of Education approved the purchase of approximately 62 acres of land for the new K-12 facility.

The board authorized Superintendent Mike Looney to buy the land - located on Highway 31-South - from Resource Management for $155,000, or $2,500 per acre. Looney said purchase of the property is contingent on whether or not the land meets certain environmental and state standards, a process which should take a maximum of 30 days.

Initial reviews of the site by architects have indicated no problems though, said Looney.

Looney took time to reflect on what the board had accomplished the previous 15 months, which included laying the foundation for the school system's future with a five-year strategic plan.

&#8220We have embarked on a journey together and it was the vision of this board that got us to this point,” he said.

In a 4-1 vote the board agreed to hire Montgomery-based Goodwin, Mills and Cawood as architects of the new school. Board member Joe Lisenby was the lone dissenter and said he thought McKee & Associates - another prospective architectural firm interviewed by the board - had more experience in designing the type of school he felt the system needed in Georgiana. He also said he wasn't happy with the layout of Greenville High School, the plans which were designed by Goodwin, Mills & Cawood.

&#8220I wasn't thrilled with the final design and as a result I believe we have lots of problems at Greenville High School,” he said.

Board president Billy Jones said he was comfortable with Goowin, Mills & Cawood because of the high school project, which was reason he voted yes.

Looney said he would also forward board members resumes for potential management firms, which the board would hire to oversee all aspects of construction on the project. A construction manager, said Looney, would act as a go-between for architects and general contractors on the school project and would work on-site to ensure operations go smoothly.