By Gary Lloyd
The Trussville City Board of Education on Monday approved plans for two new elementary schools — one in Magnolia Place and the other in the Cahaba Project, preserving the building that housed Trussville’s original high school and a middle school.
Each school will house roughly 400 students, with a capacity of about 500. Construction, including equipment necessary for students to move in, will cost a total of about $18 million, said Trussville City Schools Superintendent Pattie Neill.
Both schools will be built with hard rooms as a student shelter during threatening weather.
Neill said building one school with a larger capacity would have cost about $1 million less. Neill said building two community schools “brought unity” to Trussville and preserved a New Deal era historic school.
“This is a big night for all of us,” Neill said.
Trussville Historical Society President Donnette Plant called everyone coming together for one solution a “beautiful thing.”
“This was a great solution,” said Trussville City Board of Education member Danny Garrett.
Neill said the two schools will likely be constructed concurrently, though the two projects will appear different throughout construction due to the difference in the two sites. Land must be cleared at Magnolia Place. At the old high school and middle school site, Jack Wood Stadium will be torn down, and the historic building, library and eighth grade wing will be preserved. Additional structures will be built.
Neill said a landfill near the Magnolia Place site is about 41 years old and is expected to be full and covered in 10 years. The landfill has had some noise and odor complaints, Neill said, all of which were taken care of. Neill said air quality monitors will be located around the school and checked daily.
The next step in the process is to determine how to fund construction of the two schools. There will likely be a joint meeting between the Trussville City Board of Education and Trussville City Council in the near future.
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.