By Crystal McGough
For The Tribune
CLAY — A brand-new K-5 elementary school, officially named Bryant Park Elementary, will be built in the Clay City limits behind Bryant Park and the Boys and Girls Club off Old Springville Road, Clay City Manager Ronnie Dixon said during the city council’s pre-council meeting Tuesday night.
The new school is expected to reduce the numbers of students at Clay Elementary and Chalkville Elementary, as well as pull Grayson Valley students out of Pinson city schools.
“(Grayson Valley students) are in that interim zone now, so this will close the interim zone,” Dixon said.
Bryant Park Elementary, which will have a main entrance off of Old Springville Road and a separate entrance for buses off of Tyler Loop Road, is expected to open in the spring of 2020.
“The excavation will start in Jan. 2019,” Dixon said. “The architect drawings are complete, schematic drawings are supposed to be finished this month and then the bid will go out in Oct.”
The new school is part of a $230 million Jefferson County School Board project that will affect a total of 16 schools, including seven new schools and nine school renovations.
During the regular council meeting, Councilor Dennis Locke reminded the community that Jefferson County Schools will start back on Aug. 9. He also spoke words of praise for the city’s schools and leadership, following last week’s committee meeting.
“We had all three principals there and I was excited to see the collaboration between all three of them,” Locke said. “They are really working hard to make sure that the students are prepared for each step, so as they get ready to leave the elementary school, they are ready for what’s going on in the middle school, and the same thing is true as they move up to the high school. They’re making great strides in that area and I think having a new principal at the middle school is a big help there. It’s kind of filled that hole that we had before. All three schools have made improvements in the infrastructure and academic programs and they are also making a concerted effort to get involvement from the parents, which is so important. We as a city are very fortunate to have strong leadership in our schools and the way they have partnered with the city.”
Additionally, during the pre-council meeting Dixon gave updates on two new businesses coming to the city of Clay: O’Reilly Auto Parts and Family Dollar.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts store is to be located off of Deerfoot Parkway across the street from the Piggly Wiggly shopping center and Family Dollar will be built at the corner of Sweeney Hollow Road and Tyler Loop Road.
“We got the plans for O’Reilly yesterday,” he said. “They’re not going to build a metal building like they have in some of their locations. They’re going with a split face block, which is an upgrade. Now that we have plans, the engineering is done since that used to be a daycare up there. By Christmastime, they should be ready to open.”
Dixon said that the city has not yet received plans for Family Dollar.
“They are a little bit behind where O’Reilly is,” he said. “They had to apply with Jefferson County to get their driveway entrances because it’s Tyler Loop and Sweeney Hollow. They’ve got their driveway approved, so now they’re drawing their plans based on their driveway.”
At this time, Dixon said that he does not know if either of the businesses will bring additional revenue to the city.
“I had a meeting with all the employees just to make sure that they understood that the Family Dollar coming and O’Reilly coming, it will take at least six months to find out if that’s new business or if they’re stealing from existing businesses,” he said. “So don’t be counting your chickens that the budget’s going to go up and all that kind of stuff because we won’t even know until the next fiscal year after they open.”
In other city news, the council unanimously passed a resolution to award a bid for the demolition of unsafe buildings and/or structures at 2346 Old Springville Road to TUC Pipeline for the amount of $8,500.
“They met all of the responsible bidder guidelines that we established and they were the low bidder,” Dixon said.
The council also passed a resolution declaring weeds to be a public nuisance at 6870 Pannell Road and 7400 Countryside Drive, and a resolution declaring property to be a public nuisance at 6963 Old Springville Road and 7511 Weems Road.
The next council meeting will be held at Clay City Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 6:30 p.m. with pre-council at 6 p.m.