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THS parking lot work underway

By Michael Butler

Get ready. Class is back in session on Aug. 7 in Tallassee. There are noticeable things happening on the high school campus.

Matt Coker begins his eight year at THS as principal and is upbeat about another year with changes on the horizon at his alma mater. Among the first upgrades will be a new parking lot on the other side of Preer Street.

Mayor Johnny Hammock and Superintendent Wade Shipman at the groundbreaking for the new parking lot

"We're excited to get all of our students parking on our campus," he said. "We've always had 45-60 vehciles parking on King Street and Dubois Street. Those are not on campus. We don't have jurisdiction over those. More than anything, it's a safety issue. It'll give us more control of who's on campus. It's certainly a good thing."

Based on estimates that the new lot will not be completed until around the first of the year, 2020, but those who need a place to park will be accommodated.

"Anybody that is going to be driving to school needs a parking permit through the front office," Coker explained. "A lot of juniors, seniors and a few sophomores that drive have gotten an application. If you haven't that's what you'll need to do. There will not be any place to park for people who don't have a parking pass.

"We've been out beating the bushes to find places for the kids to park. First United Methodist Church has been really good to us. They're giving us 18-20 spots. We're going to put some kids on the band field up against the fence. We've got another little lot that the company that's doing the big lot has built for us. We'll be able to put 10-12 spots there. So we've been able to make a good many of those spots. We've got a total of about 135. Normally we have 145-150 cars.

Coker requests cooperation from the student body for a short time.

"Some people may need to ride together. You may need to get dropped off this first semester. We're hoping after Christmas that we'll have a new parking lot. The new lot will have about 95 spots. With the other parking we have on campus, we'll have plenty of room to park our faculty or students."