Nix, Glover: Disappointed

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, March 27, 2012

There was a sea of disappointment among Andalusia residents who have heartfelt memories in the building that houses the current Andalusia Middle School after the board voted 4-1 in favor of closing the facility.

The plan will move sixth graders to their own wing at Andalusia Elementary School and seventh and eighth graders to their own wing at Andalusia High School.

Since the board’s approval of the five-year captial plan, which included the measure, it has met with opposition from at least 30 members of the black community, many of whom are graduates of the former Carter G. Woodson High School. Woodson High School served as the black high school until integration.

At least five residents arrived at the meeting around 6 p.m. or after, saying they didn’t know the meeting started at 5:30 p.m.

Board member Joe Nix, who was the only member to vote against the measure, said he “was heartbroken.”

Nix said the building has been used to educate Andalusia’s school children since 1961.

“I’m heartbroken my fellow colleagues didn’t give any consideration to the public consensus,” he said. “The public consensus was not to build two new wings. I’m disheartened that public perception carries little weight.”

A major opponent of the measure and former school board member Sammy Glover shared Nix’s sentiments.

“I’m disappointed the board ignored sentiments of the community, especially in response to the Star-News’ poll,” he said. “The citizens and taxpayers are funding this project. There was no public hearing conducted.”

Board president Bill King told Nix it was not the board’s intentions to completely “get rid” of the AMS building.

Plans call for eventually turning the space into a new central office.