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School board poised to award bid for new Florence Middle School

FLORENCE, Ala. -- It’s pretty much a done deal. Board members from the University of North Alabama and Florence City Schools have both approved a mediation settlement agreement, ending a land-use dispute.

President Ken Kitts, University of North Alabama

The UNA Board of Trustees discussed the mediation agreement for more than an hour Wednesday behind closed doors.

After their executive session, board members voted unanimously to approve the agreement. The same agreement the Florence School Board accepted Tuesday night.

“It was a compromise resolution, and as with most compromises I think both parties are happy with parts of it and less happy with other parts of it,” stated UNA President Ken Kitts. “But I think it’s an agreement we can live with and I think we can move on.”

The agreement opens the door for the school system to build a new middle behind Braly Stadium.

UNA Board of Trustees

According to the agreement, 21 parking spaces will take the place of green space behind the school. Both groups will split that cost.

The agreement also changes the board make-up for the committee which oversees Braly Stadium.

Four members will be selected by UNA and four by the school board. A ninth member will be at large, selected by both entities.

In the agreement, UNA will be able to access the middle school on game days to allow attendees the option of walking through the school instead of around, at a cost of $2,500 per game to UNA.

According to the agreement, UNA will extend their stadium use agreement by ten years and are allowed to terminate the stadium agreement with 90-days notice.

The Florence School Board will be meeting on Thursday afternoon to vote for approval on the winning low bid on the new middle school.