School Board Has New Option For Grissom High School

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Grissom High School is set to undergo major changes in the next few years, but there's been a big question mark on where the new school would be built.  Now, the Huntsville school board has a new option.

Our news partners The Huntsville Times/ reports the Hays family has offered the school board a brand new site, which consultants say has several more benefits and value than the other site on Weatherly Road.  The new site is just south of the previous location, and is larger.

"The moving of this site will not cost you one dime," said Ken Upchurch, a consultant heading the Grissom rebuild for the district said to the board on Thursday.

The previous site off Weatherly Road, west of Memorial Parkway, has areas containing artifacts of Native Americans, including burial grounds. That came to light after James and John Hays offered the 60-acre site to the district to use for the new Grissom High School.

"It's been pretty interesting to see just how much not only the community rallied around this," said Upchurch. "But the Hays family as a whole wanted to make this happen regardless of the roadblocks that continue to come up their way."

The new location, consultants say, has existing roads and utility infrastructure, so construction could begin immediately.  There's more space there and development will cost less.

The property is free of artifacts and burial sites, Upchurch said.  He told the board experts at the University of Alabama have confirmed it.

As for the Grissom High School that sits on Bailey Cove Road, Dr. Jennie Robinson says it will continue to serve the community positively. "The assurance is that whatever goes into that site will add value to the neighborhood," said Robinson. "We're not hanging a for sale sign on it, it's not going to be an empty space."

The school board didn't vote on the move yet.   It is expected to do so in the next few months.