Judge orders UNA and Florence City Schools into mediation

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FLORENCE, Ala. - A Lauderdale County Circuit Judge has granted a proposed order which will put the University of North Alabama and Florence City Schools in the same room on Thursday.

Attorneys familiar with civil suits say this type of order is not unusual.

In the order sent down by Circuit Judge Gil Self, both parties will meet to attempt an amicable resolution.

Line number two of the order states, “All parties are directed to bring to the mediation, individuals with settlement authority, subject to their governing boards’ approval.”

After stating who the mediator will be, line four extends a Temporary Restraining Order issued on March 7. It states both parties agree to extend the restraining order until five o’clock on Tuesday, March 21.

If both parties are not able to resolve the issues surrounding the building of a new middle school through mediation, a hearing will take place. That hearing is set for March 21 at 9:30.

The Florence School Board has until March 24 to approve the winning low bid for a new middle school to be built along Hermitage Drive, or face rebidding the entire project.

Now these meetings will be closed to the public and media.

Attorneys for both entities along with representatives from UNA and the Florence City School system will be present.