4-school system still planned for Jemison

Published 8:25 pm Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Though Jemison Middle School will occupy the new Jemison Intermediate School next school year, Superintendent Keith Moore said the Chilton County Board of Education still plans for a four-school system in the city.

JMS is moving so that repairs can be made to the school’s 70-plus-year-old gymnasium.

Education officials have been waiting for the state to conduct a final inspection and officially turn over JIS, which is adjacent to Jemison Elementary School and across town from Jemison middle and high schools.

Moore said the board should take control of the new school soon and that Jemison Middle’s move will likely take place over the summer, which would require contributions from 12-month employees, such as administrators and maintenance workers.

“We want to do it when it would cause the least amount of confusion,” Moore said. “I’m sure we’ll have some teachers that will volunteer their time—and their families’.”

Jemison Middle’s move will be temporary.

“Once the repairs have been made, we’re going to go to the four-school system like we planned,” Moore said.

The board decided at its Tuesday meeting that grades 4, 5, and 6 will occupy the intermediate school. The middle school currently houses grades 5-8. Eighth grade, whose wing is actually connected to the high school, will stay at its current location while the other middle school grades move to the intermediate school.

Once the gym has been repaired, seventh grade will move back to the middle school, ninth grade will become part of the middle school, and fourth grade will move from the elementary school next door to the new school.

Moore said he did not have an estimate for the cost of repairs to the JMS gym—and said the repairs would take longer than the three months available during the summer.

Moore said the board decided it would be unsafe for middle school students to be in their current facility while repairs were being made to the gym.

“I think we’re doing the right thing,” JMS principal Mark Knight said. “This building needs a lot of attention.”