Phoenix School relocation plan hits snag

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Plans to relocate the Phoenix School to the Selma High campus face possible delays.

About a month ago, the Dallas County School Board approved moving the alternative school for students with disciplinary problems from 501 Plant St. to the Selma High School Child Care Center building on 6th Avenue.

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Some school officials expected the transfer by the beginning of fall semester on Aug. 6.

But structural renovations, such as handicap-accessible restrooms and separate restrooms for the males and females need completion before the move can occur.

The Selma City School Board declared the project an emergency in efforts to expedite the process, but there is no guarantee the project will be complete by the start the fall semester.

“The Phoenix program will remain at the former school until this area is ready for occupancy,” said Dr. Verdell Lett-Dawson, interim superintendent.

Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood Inc., a Montgomery-based architectural firm, will handle the project.

“They are already working on the gymnasium at Selma High School,” said Lett-Dawson. “It will be an extension of that particular project.”

An architect’s assessment of the building will determine the cost of the renovation. The funds for the project will come from local capital outlay budget that covers major building projects.

The board voted to close the childcare facility because of lack of participation and because it was no longer cost effective. The child care center had no more than seven students during the spring semester.

Students who needed help with their course work to get them back on grade level also attended the Phoenix School. Those students will receive that instruction at their regularly assigned schools. Phoenix’s participation will drop from roughly 76 students to about 30.