The Madison City School board approved a purchase of a new facility for just over $800,000.
It’s going to house their pre-k program, currently located at Rainbow Elementary.
Madison City Schools Federal Programs Coordinator Sharon Willis says, “I think it’s probably one of the most important things we do.”
It’s high-praise for the pre-k programs that will soon get students flooding through the front doors of the new building on Nance Road.
The whole thing happened quickly and sort of by chance. The superintendent tells us it actually started when a board member happened to drive by the building and see it was for sale.
Soon up to 200 kids could enjoy the benefits of pre-k at the facility.
School officials say they only have room for around 70 kids right now.
But why purchase the building to grow pre-k at all?
Willis explains, “When you talk about a child who perhaps isn’t read to, you’re talking about a child that comes to school with a vocabulary of probably ten-to-fifteen-thousand words less than a child who is read to and talked to a lot.”
School officials hope when they crack open the lock on the front door, they’ll unlock some opportunities for the district from the state.
Madison City Schools Superintendent Dee Fowler notes, “This gives us the option when those grants come available to say ‘Yes’. If we didn’t have this space, then we might be looking at saying, ‘No, we can’t take a grant. We can’t have a preschool program, because we don’t have a place to put them.'”
And now they’ve got a place.
It’s only a matter of time before they run the flag up the flag pole, and declare school in session.
Fowler says the facility could open as soon as January, but by the latest, it should be ready to go for next school year.
Madison City parents can enroll their kids in pre-k education for free, though it isn’t mandatory like the rest of the public school experience.