Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

People Voice Hopes for New Alberta Elementary

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

People Voice Hopes for New Alberta Elementary

Article excerpt

TUSCALOOSA | Though it was destroyed by the April 27, 2011, tornado, Alberta Elementary School will be rebuilt, and the Tuscaloosa City School System is seeking community input on what the school should be like.

On Thursday, the system held the first of three Alberta Elementary School community meetings at Central High School.

About 35 people attended the meeting, including school board members and system employees. Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent Paul McKendrick said he hopes more people will attend the next meeting.

The community meetings are designed to solicit community input about how the new Alberta Elementary School should be designed, what should its curriculum be like, which programs it should have and anything else that people want to see at the school.

McKendrick said system officials haven't looked at any designs or a curriculum yet because they want community input before they take the next steps.

The only thing about the new Alberta Elementary that's been pre- determined is that the school will open August 2014, said Jeff Johnson, executive director of facilities for the system.

Johnson said the school may be built east of where the old school was. He said that officials may move the school because they want it to be closer to University Boulevard and more visible. He said the old school sat too far back from the road.

McKendrick said they're taking a long time to rebuild the school because they want to make sure they equip it with everything it needs.

"You only get the chance to build a school about every 20 years, so we want to make sure we do it right," McKendrick said. "The last thing we want to do is rush into building a building and when it's done, we say, 'We could have added that to it.' "

He did say that some state regulations and approvals they were seeking have slowed things down.

Since the school's destruction, students have been attending classes at Tuscaloosa Magnet School.

Brenda Parker, Alberta Elementary's principal, said she's looking forward to the school's reopening and would like to see more technology integrated into the school and its curriculum.

A woman who said her son attended Alberta, said she loved the comfortable and welcoming environment of the school. …

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