New School Plans Progressing

School starts Tuesday in Sumter County, Ala. And preliminary work has already begun on a new consolidated high school there, slated to be finished in a couple of years.

School officials say they hope the construction will benefit the county in more ways than one.

"This is the closest thing that we are going to get to a stimulus package in Sumter County," said superintendent Dr. Fred Primm of the construction for a new consolidated high school.

The finished building will be 85,000 square feet and housing all public school students in grades nine through twelve.

"People are going to have to stay overnight. They'll go to hotels. They'll eat at the restaurants and they'll have to buy gas," said Primm of the people involved in the construction. "I do believe once the school is built you will have no alternative but to put stores and gas stations, or hopefully apartments, or subdivisions or whatever."

With the bidding for contractors expected to start next month, Dr. Primm says the district hopes to include many local companies in the actual building process.

"We want to make sure that they include local and minority sub-contractors in the scheme of the building structure," Primm said.

Primm says the new school is scheduled to be open by the fall of 2011. The groundbreaking ceremony is expected to happen within the next month. Actual construction of the school is expected to start by the first of October.

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