MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – Marshall County Schools and the Brindlee Mountain community met Wednesday night to go over plans to rebuild Brindlee Mountain Primary School or add to the high school/middle school campus. An EF-2 tornado destroyed the primary school in January.
For the few parents that attended the meeting, they came away with quite a bit of information surrounding three plans. Two of those plans involved expanding the high school campus to include the primary. The other option revolves around rebuilding Brindles Mountain Primary School.
Nothing was voted on yet. This was simply an opportunity for parents to express opinions on specific plans.
“My number one concern is the safety of our younger students. It is no secret that the high school has a problem with drugs. You can find them in the classrooms, hallways, restrooms, and parking lot,” said Jessica Stevens, a concerned parent.
“Why are we putting all of our eggs in one basket? A large number of employees, students and visitors all concentrated in one area?” said Michael Hall, a Union Springs Councilman who thinks putting everyone together could bring risk should an emergency happen.
For those against creating a central Brindlee Mountain Campus, there were plenty of people, mainly educators, who were for it.
“Do I want to rebuild there? No. I’ve said my goodbyes,” said one staff member.
A major concern, should the district rebuild at the current site, centers around space. The school already dealt with overcrowding and issues with meal times.
Prior to COVID-19 shutting in-person instruction down, primary students had resumed classes that the middle school. Some parents expressed concerns about bullying. One parent told the board her student wanted to start home schooling after their first day back.
“I had one that was crying on the bus. I ran and got him. He grabbed by hand. I said c’mon buddy. I’ll take you where you supposed to be. Second day it was a little bit better. The third and fourth day they are jumping off the bus,” said one staff member. (Changed after incorrect identification)
Many staff members expressed interest in using this opportunity to create better connections with students starting at a younger age and into high school.
Brindlee Mountain was insured for $4.9 million. The new projects range in price between $5 – $7 million.
Potential money issues aside, between the primary and middle/high schools, all locations have capacity issues. Each plan has specific details about adding classrooms and extra space to several buildings should a rebuild not happen.
WHNT will continue to follow this fluid situation. As of this moment, detailed plans are NOT available digitally.