Sumter County Eying Consolidated High School

It has been over two years since Sumter County voters rejected a measure that would have increased property taxes to build a consolidated new high school.

Now district officials are examining this issue again, but without extra cost to the taxpayers by using renewed bond money from previous years.

"We really would have to use this money for construction," said school board president, Johnny Patrick.

Patrick said the bond money that would be used for the $12 million project is earmarked and can only be used for construction type projects within the district. Because it is available, and given the concern about aging buildings, Patrick says it's the time to make the move.

"We're in a community that our tax resources are limited," said Patrick. "We don't have the funds to support, basically build a high school in York and then try to continue to maintain Livingston High School, as far as the physical facility, and four other schools in the community. So, at some point, I think we're going to need to bring those schools together."

District officials say the new plan would initially call for a scaled-back version of the previous consolidation proposal, with all work being done in phases.

Superintendent Dr. Fred Primm says the school would be built on the same site as the previous plan and the structure would be able to house 500 students. He says this would leave 9th and 10th graders to initially attend classes on the current campus of Livingston High until some additional class space could be added to the new campus.

Unlike with the bond referendum that failed, the school board would have the final say on this proposal. Newscenter 11 learned the board could consider a vote within the next two weeks. If approved, work on the new school could start by the first of March.

The first of a series of public meetings is set for Wednesday at 6 p.m. at
the Sumter County Courthouse in Livingston to hear what residents have to say.

Another will be held Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. at Sumter County High School in York. A third is scheduled for Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. at Livingston High School.

Do you think Sumter County should consolidate its high schools?

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Waylon Goss Location: Montgomery , Al. on Apr 14, 2011 at 08:30 PM
    This Project became very personal to me. From the very start,Things were difficult. The pump ststion alone was the most difficult. Grandparents from the area, I spent many hours off the clock making new friends in York and Livingston. I gathered that the tax hike ticked off some folks....but with the leadership of my co-workers ,I came quickly to the quality of education nour children need today and more now than ever. Thank you for allowing me to accomodate you with a top notch product. Truly , Waylon Goss Jr.
  • by Robert lee Location: York, Alabama on Feb 9, 2009 at 08:24 AM
    I am student here at Sumter County High School and I think we need to combine the schools here in Sumter County. We as people need to put aside our differences in help build the school. Everyone always think York and Livingston as just a rivalry, I think it is a waist of time how we just think as something as competition. We need a school; we need better facilities, and a good place to learn. The Board of Education has enough money for the first project, but you always people in the bunch to mess things up. What we need to do is come together and build something for us, the students. Two years ago, the people voted no on the property tax. Now they thought of a way not raise property and they still do not will not to do it. People complain about 15$, they spend that Church’s Chicken every other day.
  • by J-Renee Location: York on Feb 4, 2009 at 09:15 AM
    I can't understand how any person wouldn't want a better school for the children. Wouldn't it be great for the children to be warm in the winter, and cool in the summertime. It's hard to focus when your uncomfortable. We as adults know this. A lot of people voted NO, because they didn't understand the situation. They just heard higher taxes,and ran scared. But in reality they don't own anything and it really wouldn't have affected them. A new school means state of the arts equipment, safer, cleaner,and a healthier enviornment for our children. My husband and I own our home, and land. And YES the tax increase would have affected us, but what's a few extra dollars for our childrens education and well being. It's better to pay more for something that you choose. Than to pay more for somethings that has been forced on you and have no say in the matter. Hoping that Sumter County will make a change because it's long over due. Let's grow up people, we have our own minds. This is not the 1800'.
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