ACS to seek $2.5M bond

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Andalusia City School System is planning to seek $2.5 million in low-interest government bonds in the hopes of upgrading its physical education facilities at the high school and middle school.

Superintendent Dr. Beverly McAnulty said the system is exploring two options for AHS, if awarded funding.

“We have been looking at both a new stand-alone facility and major renovations to our current facilities,” McAnulty said. “We know we want modernized facilities to include a large open indoor facility, classrooms, weight room, locker rooms, and perhaps a media area.”

McAnulty said due to an increasing student body at the middle school, officials have also proposed additional space.

“Their indoor space is limited to the one gym with no PE offices and no classrooms or storage,” she said. “The locker rooms are overcrowded and two PE classes a period must meet in one space. It’s definitely needed.”

McAnulty said both the city and the Bulldog Foundation have pledged funding assistance for the projects.

For a school to be eligible for Qualified Zone Academy (Q-Zab) funding, it must have 35 percent or more of students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals or the school must be located in an enterprise community or empowerment zone. These funds would be paid back over a 15-year period and are part of an annual $400 million federal appropriation.

Every state’s share is administered by its state department of education, which allots the money on a first-come, first-served or other criteria basis.

“Except for the gymnasiums themselves, our facilities are outdated and inadequate,” she said. “With the emphasis we want to put on physical fitness and wellness. We need modernized facilities.”

The specifics of where and what the new high school facility will look like have yet to be determined.

McAnulty said she would be meeting with architects in the coming weeks.