School study nearly complete

Published 3:12 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A study into the feasibility of creating a municipal school system in the City of Greenville is expected to be completed by the end of January.

The study, which cost the city $43,500, was approved by the Greenville City Council at its July 11 meeting, and was expected to be completed in 90-120 days.

Mayor Dexter McLendon said that Birmingham-based Construction Program Management in association with Jolly Educational Consulting presented him with a draft of its findings within that timeline, but that he “had some questions” that he asked the group to look into further.

Email newsletter signup

“I’ve seen part of the study,” McLendon said.

“I had a few questions about some of the numbers in the draft, so they are going back and checking on those things.”

McLendon said a presentation on the study’s findings is planned for the end of January.

“We don’t have a date set yet, but we’ll make sure and give everyone plenty of notice so they can plan to be there,” he said.

The council voted unanimously to fund the school system feasibility study at the July meeting in the absence of council member Jean Thompson.

The council has considered the possibility of creating a city school system “through the years,” according to the resolution approving the study.

“The City Council recognizes the importance of quality education for the children of this community and the impact a quality education program, or lack thereof, has on a community’s future and its ability to prosper, grow and recruit industry and economic development that subsequently provide jobs for the community,” the resolution reads.

At the time the study was commissioned, McLendon stressed that it is “only a study” to determine the viability of such a plan.

“I have many of the same questions and concerns that you do, I am sure. And, yes, the study is going to cost more than $40,000,” McLendon said. “But if this will significantly help with our economic development here and help the children of our community, I believe it will be money well spent. I believe most any of us would do anything we could to help our children, and this may be a way we can.”

According to McLendon Fort Dale Academy and Lurleen B. Wallace Community College took part in the study. He also said students living outside of the city limits would have access to Greenville schools if a city system was established.