Jackson County School Board to discuss major repairs at Paint Rock Valley School

JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. - A school in Jackson County needs extensive repairs, say school leaders.

Paint Rock Valley School was previously in the news when the board voted against the superintendent's recommendation to close it, and instead chose to keep it open last year.

This week the Paint Rock Valley School will again appear on the Jackson County School Board agenda.  Superintendent Kevin Dukes says board members are getting bids together to fix Paint Rock Valley School's lunchroom. It's a major priority for the county.

"Last year when we talked, the roof was of the repairs that needed to be made. It came it around roughly $60,000 is what it's going to be," said Superintendent Kevin Dukes.

The roof isn't the only thing that needs help in the lunchroom, he said. It also needs central heating and air, which will increase the project cost to $225,000.

"Do we want to spend the 60,000 or the 225,000?" Dukes explained. That's the big debate for some board members, because there are only 70 students enrolled in the school as it stands now. "If we're going to do it for one school, we need to do it for Paint Rock Valley as well," assessed Dukes, in regard to fixing the school's issues.

But enrollment continues to decline.

"I've had several people come to me over the last few weeks and tell me they're planning on withdrawing their children," said Dukes. "I've had one parent that was asking if there was anyway their children could be bussed to either or Woodville or Skyline School because they didn't feel they'd get the ultimate high school experience."

Dukes made it clear after the vote last year that he would not bring up closing the school again, despite the cost of keeping it up and running.

"I am not bringing it up, but my recommendation stands the same," said Dukes of his initial recommendation to close it last year. He explained that as of right now, board members are going to continue to discuss their options with the necessary repairs at their May 17th meeting.