CCSD ready to move forward with construction plans

Published 10:30 am Friday, June 30, 2023

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Chambers County School District Superintendent Casey Chambley addressed the court ruling on the site location and temporary consolidation of the high schools during Wednesday’s board of education meeting. 

“At this point in time, I believe that that is probably the best option,” Chambley said. “We talked about that at one of our last board meetings, and we talked about that some individually. You all and I have spoken about that that at this point in time, it’s probably very difficult for us to make that move.”

Judge Keith Watkins’ ruling was that CCSD could proceed immediately with the building of the new consolidated high school at the Valley location but that the two schools should not be consolidated until the building is complete. 

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The judge found the temporary consolidation at Valley High School to place an undue burden on the students of LaFayette High School. 

“It has been and will continue to be a tough situation for our communities to deal with,” Chambley said. “However, now we’re in a process of we can move forward and begin to heal and begin to mend and begin to build something that we can all be proud of and that our children can all be proud of and our grandchildren can be proud of for years and years to come.” 

Looking forward, Chambley said the school board will now proceed with its plans for the new school’s construction. 

“We are in the process now of moving forward with our architects and with our construction management firm to move this process forward as quickly as we can move it forward,” Chambley said. 

Chambley thanked Watkins for making a thorough and well-informed decision. 

Since the final hearing in January 2023, the board of education and both communities have been awaiting the judge’s decision. Five months after the hearing, the order was announced. 

“This was a very important decision that impacts a lot of people and it could not have been made rashly or quickly,” Chambley said. “We’re awaiting the opinion of Judge Watkins. His opinion will come later.”

The opinion will be a lengthier document consisting of the judge’s rationalization for the decisions he made. There is no information on when the opinion will be available. 

“If we can’t agree on the ruling, I think we can all agree that we now at least know the direction, and we know the direction that we’re moving,” Chambley said.