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Trussville BOE discusses possible expansion at Cahaba Elementary, Hewitt Middle

By J.R. Tidwell

Editor

TRUSSVILLE — Expansion at Cahaba Elementary and Hewitt-Trussville Middle School were the main topics of discussion during the Trussville City Schools Board of Education meeting Tuesday.

Hewitt-Trussville Middle School
file photo by Ron Burkett

The council heard a presentation on possible expansion at the two schools, with each involving the building of additional classroom space.

The base plan at Cahaba Elementary would see four new classrooms built with an option for two or even five more total depending on the decisions made by the board in the future.

The playground and road around the building’s perimeter will have to be relocated for the expansion.

The board has the option to add four classrooms now and more at a later date if so desired or as many as nine all at the same time as well as an additional set of bathrooms.

The board will have 90 days from the date any bid for the expansion is accepted to decide if more classrooms are desired than the base four.

The expansion at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School would involve adding four new classrooms to each of the first and second levels, with a half room on the side of each and a new fine arts center at the end that would give the school’s band additional room.

The new fine arts center would also act as a storm shelter capable of holding the entire student body if necessary.

The project at Cahaba Elementary is ready for the bidding process, while the one at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School is still having plans drawn up.

The board began the workshop with a visit from Officer Nate Holloway and his partner Leo, the Trussville Police Department’s new K-9 trained in tracking and narcotics detection.

In one recent case a 17-year-old student was arrested at Hewitt-Trussville High School on Thursday after Leo detected narcotics in a vehicle while doing a search of the school’s parking lot.

Holloway answered questions from different school board members about how he and Leo go about their duties.

Afterwards the school board heard different reports on the status of the system.

Hewitt-Trussville High School has grown by a number of students since the last time the AHSAA did statewide reclassification, so it is likely the Huskies will remain in Class 7A in athletics.

Hewitt-Trussville was the 28th smallest school out of the 32 placed into 7A during the last reclassification, but the larger student population will likely move HTHS up on that list.

The board got good news when the financial report was brought up. The system budgeted receiving $11 million in revenue from sales and ad valorem taxes but actually received $12.2 million.

This was on top of coming in $688K below budget on expenditures. General consensus from the board was that the school system is in good shape financially.

The school will likely have to spend some money over the next fives years to bolster its fleet of buses, though.

A report said several buses have broken down at some point over the last school year, but in each case mechanics have been able to get them up and running.

The suggestion was made to purchase some buses from local sources and some from the state sources over the next few years to bolster transportation.

The next scheduled meeting of the board will be Dec. 11 with a work session at 5 p.m. followed by a meeting at 6 p.m.

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