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One of the homes to be demolished on Preer Street

School to pave way for parking

By Leigh Anne Butler

Work has begun on the parking project at Tallassee High School.  The Tallassee Board of Education purchased houses along Barnett Boulevard, King Street and Preer Street, all of which will be demolished to take advantage of extending the high school campus’ boundaries and expand the parking for students and staff.

“The board has approved me to go ahead with the first steps of the high school campus renovations, which is to clear the houses and start working on the parking,” stated Wade Shipman, superintendent of Tallassee City Schools.

“We are still in discussions with the City of Tallassee about how to make our school renovation plan work.  We are hopeful that we can put together a memorandum of understanding between the city and us, that will determine what is expected of each of us in this process,” Shipman explained.

“One of the main thoughts behind the high school renovations is to improve the security of our campus.  Some of that involves a bit of redesign of how our campus layout so traffic will not be able to pull right through the middle of our campus,” Shipman added.

“The new parking is going to be more along the perimeter or outside of the campus instead of right through the middle like it is currently.  We are going to have around 350 parking spaces.  Currently we have less than 200, so it is going to do a really good job of resolving our parking issues.”

This past weekend demolition began on five of the houses purchased by the Tallassee Board of Education.  “Almost every house has asbestos in it so we have to first go through an asbestos removal process before we demolish these properties.  We’ve hired a company to go in there and they are doing that.  They are making sure that when the remains of those buildings are sent off to the landfills there isn’t any asbestos present,” Shipman expanded. 

The asbestos removal has been taking place over the past several weeks.

“The total count of houses that will be out in a week or so is five.  We recently purchased another property that will not be included in this.  There are three houses on Barnett Boulevard, one on King Street and one next to the school’s greenhouse on Preer Avenue on the back side of the campus.  It is really going to open up that area,” Shipman states.  “Hopefully in May we are going to see the paving and clearing started.  We want to be able to get the majority of the work done over the summer so it will not interrupt with traffic flow problems.”

“This parking project is really going to help on King Street and is also going to help with a few other things.  Currently on King Street students are techinalcally off campus which makes it really hard for us to discipline students for anything that is going on in those areas.  With the parking changes, if there is something happening that we need to be aware of it is going to be better that they are on our campus where we have more authority,” Shipman elaborated.  “This is not the ultimate reason why we are doing this but it is a side aspect of it.  The real benefits are the safety issues.”

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