ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - The Athens School Board Tuesday unveiled its plan for the future of education there. It's not just a plan for the future of city schools but for the future of the city itself.
Major improvements are in store for Athens city schools, if officials can secure the funding. The school board proposed a new high school and new elementary school, to replace aging facilities, some more than 50 years old.
Superintendent Trey Holladay explained, "I just do not want to see us take a backwards step. When you lose your school system and you don't continue to improve your school system then you lose your community."
The school board and many community leaders agree that upgrading the school system is not only vital for future growth but also necessary to keep young families from moving away to find better schools for their children.
"I think its critical to our mission and our future. I believe if we do build it, they will come," says Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks.
It's a proposal that includes a new $48 million dollar high school and $11 million dollar elementary school, among other improvements. But at this point, it's just an idea. It would likely mean higher property taxes. School officials say they'll take the next 6 months to solicit input from the public before deciding whether to try to move forward with the plan.
Holladay says it's going to take the support of the community to keep up with the vast improvements being made in school systems surrounding Athens.