Guntersville city, school system leaders talk about potential joint effort to find solutions to needs in the city schools system

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- The Guntersville City Council, the mayor, the superintendent of The Schools of Guntersville, and school leaders met Wednesday afternoon in what could be the start of a joint effort to find solutions to millions of dollars worth of needs in the city schools system.

Guntersville High School has seen decades worth of students. "We're at a point where the high school is almost 50 years old. It's outdated," said Superintendent Brett Stanton.

There has been talk of a new one, with an estimated cost of $50 million. It would be built next to the current school. Stanton said those estimated costs rise each year.

But, it's not just the high school that school officials say they feel needs to be addressed. There are two other schools in the system that also need millions of dollars worth of work. "Cherokee Elementary School and Guntersville Elementary School, and between those two we have been told it's an estimated 13 million dollars worth of renovations that are needed," Stanton explained.

He said it's going to take help. "For us, to have the modern updated facilities that we need, we have to have the support of the city and also the community," Stanton said.

School leaders, the city council, and Mayor Leigh Dollar met Wednesday afternoon to start those talks. "We're in this together. We're a community and a town, and we all have to work together to accomplish something," Dollar said, "So this is, in my opinion, the first step in a multi-step process."

Dollar added they need to talk about several things, like costs and what's needed. She said it's also important to make sure it's what the citizens want.

A few weeks ago, city council members and Dollar toured the city's schools to see what's there and what can be done. Wednesday's meeting is a follow-up to that tour.