WAP holders decline DCS offer

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 19, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Talks between the Demopolis City Schools and the shareholders of the former West Alabama Prep facility came to a close when the shareholders declined an offer presented by the system.

According to Superintendent Wayne Vickers, he and board members Linda Russell and Bobby Armstead visited with the shareholders and entered in a non-binding offer below the appraised value of approximately $498,500.

The total cost for the project, including the purchase of the WAP facility, would have been close to $1.7 million dollars, with $1.2 million going toward the renovation of the two main buildings. Furthermore, Vickers said, only one of the buildings is a permanent structure with the remainder being metal structure, which would require total replacement.

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The system was originally envisioned as an early education facility for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, which would require a total reorganization of the school system. At such a late date in the school year, Vickers said it would be difficult to undergo a reorganization and have it ready for the start of school next year.

Vickers recommended the school board continue with the proposed four-classroom expansion at the high school, which is estimated to cost between $850,000 and $ 1 million.

The facility would help to ease

overcrowding at the high school, which currently houses 721 students &8212; which is more than the school&8217;s intended capacity of 600-650 students. Enrollment estimates for next year set student population around 805.