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Another school year in the books

By Michael Butler

Call it a year.  The Tallassee school year concluded on Friday with graduation ceremonies. Now, it’s time to take a break.  Maybe not.

The Tallassee City School system has a big project ahead.  And, the planning stages are already underway.

Plans for a new high school and campus expansion have been highlighted in a three-phase plan.

“A lot of what’s going to happen on the front end is going to be paperwork, getting financing in line and start working on blueprints,” superintendent Wade Shipman said. “I really don’t anticipate breaking ground until the first of the year.”

The school system has submitted an official request to the city to vacate Preer Street adjacent to the high school in order to proceed with the construction of a fine arts center.

“The plan would be really just to move the road over,” Shipman added. “The first phase would be roughly a $12 million project.”

Phase two would take place on west wing of the property or opposite side of the proposed performing arts center.

“The goal would be to replace that building with more classrooms than what is in the annex now, as well as new science labs. We’ve talked about making it more of a freshmen center as well,” said Shipman. “Our goal is to acquire the funding for the first two phases.”

Then there is phase three, which includes the new high school.

“When it’s all done, if we get the funding we need, everything will be replaced with the exception of our current new gym. There are some discussions of whether we would replace the cafeteria or not. It was the most recently renovated. At some point it will more than likely be renovated or replaced. That could be ten years down the line.”

It would take approximately $30 million to complete the entire project; hence the reason for a phase option to obtain financing in increments.

“I think our plan is pretty sound. To give our kids the facilities they need to be successful as possible, that’s our goal.”

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