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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — At a special called meeting Thursday, leaders with Madison City Schools (MCS) voted to approve a $7 million bid to renovate the former West Madison Elementary School into a new pre-K center.

Currently, the school sits vacant. MCS Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols says it will now be put to use.

“The West Madison building has been closed since we opened Midtown,” Nichols told News 19. “We all know how important pre-K is and that it gets kids off to a great start and makes them prepared for kindergarten.”

The school system will spend $7,345,000 to completely renovate the inside of this 50,000 square foot school building. The renovations will be paid out of a $100 million bond the district took out after the City of Madison passed a 12 mil tax.

Nichols says it will be an altogether new school with “new wiring, new HVAC, new flooring, tile, ceiling, everything.”

The superintendent said there is a growing need to expand the district’s pre-K program. Once West Madison is renovated, the district will almost double its number of pre-K classes.

“So there is nine at the current pre-K center and three at Rainbow,” Nichols explained. “There are 18 kids in each of those 12. We can expand between 21 and 23. So we will be able to expand say 10 more, 10 to 11 more at 18 [per] person… so right at 200 more students.”

The district plans to open the renovated pre-K building in August 2023.