Major upgrades are coming to one Madison County school to help improve students' learning experiences. WAAY 31 learned it's just the beginning of improvements for schools throughout the district.
Central School is receiving a new dining hall, kitchen and upgraded carpool line. The new building will also have offices and restrooms. The $6 million project is going to give the school some much needed space.
Kerry Wilkerson, the Chief Operations Officer for Madison County Schools, said the new dining room will help in having lunch served closer to noon at the school. He explained that is a priority for the district.
"We start serving kids 10:15 to 10:30 in the morning. That's early. We have to do that, because we can't fit them in the dining room," Wilkerson said. "It sounds like it's just a lunch room. It's not just a lunch room, it's a dining room and a kitchen. It's going to give something to the kids that they haven't had in a lot of years, and they've really needed it."
One parent who's preparing for his son to attend the school next year said he's excited for the improvements.
"It benefits him. He goes to a lunch at a better time and gets the best education possible," said the parent, John light.
The $6 million project is using funds from the $56 million Madison County Schools received from the Base Realignment and Closure bill. The bill was set up by the Alabama Public School and College Authority to help build or renovate schools.
The money was originally intended to go to building a new school in the district, but the district realized in the last year there wasn't currently a need for one.
"They recognized it would be better spent throughout the county. We have so many needs," Wilkerson said.
Money from that fund will also be spent to replace roofs and fulfill other needs at the district's schools. However, the new building at Central School will free-up the existing cafeteria and kitchen, which will be renovated into five classrooms. The district will be able to get rid of all its portable classrooms at the school.
The new facility is expected to be complete by October of next school year.