New capital plan sparks debate from Madison County Board of Education

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - A new high school in Monrovia continues to be a contentious issue for the Madison County Board of Education and new superintendent Matt Massey.

Massey laid out his new five-year capital plan for the district Thursday night.

He first shared his proposal for no new school with board at last month's meeting.

Instead of the board's initial discussed plan of building new Monrovia High, Massey's plans include $23 million worth of renovations to Sparkman High School.

"It's been such a long process, but I think we need to look at what our needs are right now and what our needs are going to be ten years in the future and that's different than what it was, five, ten years ago," said Massey.

Districts four and five, represented by David Vess and school board president Jeff Anderson, are directly affected by this change.

Vess argued that he cannot support new items on the plan until portable classrooms are no longer used at some of the elementary schools in his district.

Anderson argued that without a long-promised new school, many families will leave the district.

"All I can say is, buy stock in Madison Academy and Westminster Christian," Anderson said.

Massey said his new plan alleviates the pressure a new high school would put on the entire district financially.

"I really don't want to have to go out and seek a revenue for building a school that we really couldn't afford to build and that, in fact, we really don't need."

Thursday's meeting was simply a discussion of the new capital plan. It will likely be discussed at the board's next work session.