Purchasing WAP building may be wise move

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2007

One thing is for certain: Taxpayers can rest assured that the Demopolis City Schools Board of Education is a wise and frugal steward of our money.

This is not a new revelation that has appeared under the new leadership of Superintendent Wayne Vickers. It is how the board has acted for years, under previous leadership and with a different set of members.

In this instance, however, it is Vickers who should be praised for the due-diligence he is doing in examining the old property that once was West Alabama Preparatory School.

Owners of WAP approached the Demopolis City Schools about purchasing the facilities after Fairhaven Baptist Church decided not to go forward with a private school.

Vickers sees the school as an opportunity on two fronts: To help ease overcrowding at the high school and to create a more focused effort for early education in the city.

Under current plans, the district would create the Demopolis Early Education Center, which would house the Fabulous Fours, pre-school and kindergarten programs. Other grades would be shifted at each school, ending with the high school housing only 10th through 12th grades.

We see much wisdom in this, though we are concerned about the transition from ninth to 10th grade, which is a crucial testing year.

Nonetheless, the costs of purchasing and renovating the WAP location could be more economically feasible than building four new classrooms at the high school. The school board and Dr. Vickers are doing the right thing by investing the time they are in looking at this proposal.