Guntersville could get a new high school

The board of education discussed possible options at Monday's work session.

Posted: Nov 19, 2018 9:38 PM
Updated: Nov 20, 2018 10:00 AM

Guntersville Board of Education members are weighing their options and trying to decide whether Guntersville High School should be renovated or rebuilt all together.

"It's just so outdated," former Guntersville High School parent Gina Kirkley said.

Two of Kirkley's kids graduated from Guntersville High School, and the last one finished up in 2010. She said even then she knew the school needed an upgrade.

"I felt like it was old and needed to be updated," Kirkley said.

At Monday night's work session the board of education bounced around ideas about whether it'd be better to renovate or rebuild the high school.

"Often times a renovation can cost more than a build, and so I think that's where we are at this point as far as our high school's concerned," Guntersville City Schools Superintendent Brett Stanton said.

The board didn't vote Monday night, but Stanton told WAAY 31 he thinks a new school may be the best bet, especially with the current school being about 50 years old.

"So much of the equipment is almost dilapidated," Stanton said.

In order to get a new school the board needs funding that will come from a sales tax increase, property tax increase, or going to the bond market.

"With a property tax increase or with a bond you're looking at voter participation and voter support," Stanton said.

Kirkley said she would support a tax increase.

"Guntersville's growing so much and the potential to have a better facility attracts more people here," Kirkley said.

Stanton told WAAY 31 that if the board decides to move forward on the new building they'll likely build it on current high school property. That would keep students from being moved around during construction, but Kirkley doesn't think its the safest option.

"It's just accidents waiting to happen when you have kids pulling in and cars flying down the mountain. If I had kids there still I would want it to be somewhere else," Kirkley said.

Stanton added that even if the board had all the funding they needed right now a new school is still about five years away. He also told WAAY 31 that the board is planning to renovate Cherokee and Guntersville elementary schools which will cost about $13 million.

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