School system breaks ground

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 19, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

“This groundbreaking has been a long time coming,” Dr. James Carter, superintendent of the Selma City School System, said Friday morning as he stood in front of a vacant, recently graded lot.

That lot will soon become the new home for the school board, putting it in a more accessible and prominent location.

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“I am glad to see this day here,” said Carter. “But I do ask that you continue to give us your support and your prayers.”

The new office will be a one-story building located in front of Selma High School on Broad Street.

“The city has been waiting for something like this for a long time,” said Benjamin Givan, president of the school board. “We had some mixed reaction about this, but after discussing we felt that renovation could become very expensive and sometimes’ it’s cheaper to build. We gave the board the ok to proceed with the project.”

Dr. Carter pitched the idea of a new building to Mayor James Perkins. And with the support of the Mayor and the city council, a loan was floated to the School Board under the understanding that new building would be paid for by the school board.

“Not only is this going to serve a purpose with education, it’s going to become a symbol for the significance of education within the city of Selma,” said Perkins. “I think when you have people coming into the community and they want to know about the education system, you want to be able to take them to a facility that shows your dedication to education and I think that’s what we can do with this.”

According to Carter, the new facility which will be used by central office personnel as well as offer certain opportunities to the faculties of the school such as continuing education and distance learning, will cost around one million dollars to be paid over the next 20 years.

“This is a momentous occasion for the city of Selma,” said Carter. “We are going to have the state of the art equipment and to make sure that the public feels welcome to stop by our new facility.”

The new facility is just one of the plans that Perkins and the school board have for the city.

“We are working now on plans to start an early childhood development center that will be a training center for all of our Pre-K students,” said Perkins. “It will teach advanced education to the children at that age and we are planning to move forward with that.”

The current building that houses the school board will not be torn down, it will continue to be used.

“It is going to have some major renovations,” said Carter. “We are going to make it a resource center for the teachers in the school system.”

As the Selma High School band played “Saints go marching in,” Carter, Perkins Givan and members of the school board grabbed shovels and made the ceremonial first scrape to the already broken ground.