A good plan can make dream reality

Published 12:54 am Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The idea of a new high school in Selma is a good one. A new high school or even renovation of some parts of the school, keeping others is needed in this community.

On Tuesday Selma City Schools Superintendent Dr. Austin Obasohan said he wanted a plan that would see the old portion of the high school rebuilt and the newer fine arts and career tech centers renovated. The project would cost about $31 million with $21.2 million going for bricks and mortar.

The school would consist of about 157,000 square feet with room for expansion, should the student population of about 990 grow to 1,000 students.

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A plan on how to pay for the new school seemed less assuring. The school system has $7 million in hand. It has sought to borrow $20 million from the state and has applied for $20 in stimulus money. Obasohan said the loan would cost no interest.

When asked how the school system would pay back the money used to build the new school, Obasohan said the system would take money — about $250,000 per year — given by the city and put in the capital fund.

Before any plans are drawn or any contracts signed, the Selma School System should ensure it can make the payments on a new school.

Mayor George Evans warned the audience Tuesday night of the city’s struggling finances and its attempt to have voters approve a bond issue to complete infrastructure projects and purchase badly needed equipment.

A firmed-up financial plan and a hearty yes from the state would make this project seem more than a handful of wishes.