Second round of school consolidation forums announced

Published 6:38 pm Friday, April 5, 2019

LaFAYETTE — The Chambers County School District has announced the dates for the second round of public forums on the proposed consolidation of Valley and LaFayette high schools.

The first forum will take place at 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 24, at the Valley Community Center. The second meeting will be at 6 p.m. CT., on Thursday, April 25, at the ALFA Building in LaFayette.

In October, the school district launched a campaign to gather input on the future direction of public education in Chambers County, including the proposed consolidation of the district’s two high schools. Citizens were asked to complete an online survey for expressing their views on the proposal, which was followed by the first round of public forums held in November.

Email newsletter signup

According to the results of the online survey, citizens who indicated their preference regarding consolidation were evenly divided but about 25 percent of respondents stated a desire for additional information.

“Since then, the project management firm of HPM, hired by the board of education to spearhead the collection of data, has been analyzing the input we received during those initial forums,” Chambers County School Superintendent Dr. Kelli Hodge said. “We are now prepared to answer the questions that were posed, including projected costs, possible location, logistics and other collected research. We even have a conceptual drawing of what the new facility might look like.”

She said the district wants to make the process as transparent as possible.

“The children in our school district deserve the best facilities and educational opportunities we can provide them,” Hodge said. “By combining our resources, we can expand our curriculum to better prepare our graduates for the high-tech job market of the future.”

According to the school district, the proposed new high school campus would include a multi-purpose auditorium, athletic practice fields and the relocation of the Chambers County Career Technical Center. The current Career Tech building would still be utilized by programs within the district like Future Farmers of America.  Hodge said public input remains an essential aspect of any potential consolidation project.

“We encourage all citizens, especially parents of students in our district, to attend one of the scheduled forums,” she said.