Parents want new school

Published 2:58 am Wednesday, July 18, 2007

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Kathy McMillan's daughter won't benefit from a new middle school in Brewton, but McMillan still wants the city school board to make a quick decision about where to build the new school.
Like many parents in Brewton, McMillan wants to see a new middle school, although not all agree about a controversy that has been brewing over the school's location.
School board officials have been discussing a new school for the past two years, but as property options have narrowed to include the city-owned Dogwood Hills golf course, regular golfers at the course have opposed building a school there.
Some middle school parents disagree about whether Dogwood Hills is the best place for a new school, but all seem to agree that the city needs a new middle school.
Still, Stewart said she is not happy with the current location of the middle school on Liles Boulevard.
McMillan agreed. &#8220I don't care where it's located,” she said. &#8220What I do care about is the environment where we educate our children.”
But McMillan said that those opposed to building the school at the golf course need to come up with a better solution.
Parent Susan Miller agreed that little other available property exists for a middle school.
City and school board officials have said they would not build the school next to the golf course unless both could co-exist there. One plan calls for a reconfiguration of the course using a strip of land behind the current course.
Golfers have said any reconfiguration of the course - which would be necessary if a school were built there - would make it more difficult to walk the course, which is a draw for seniors.
Golf course manager Gary Hill told city council members last week that the land is mainly wetlands and would be unsuitable, although the city has not yet had a survey of the land completed.
Miller said there are &#8220a lot of positives” to a new school being located next to Dogwood Hills, a recreation area which also has an outdoor pool, tennis courts and a playground.
School officials have said they want a new middle school to be located on U.S. 31, where the elementary and high schools are already located.
While golf course supporters say Dogwood Hills is attractive to visitors and potential residents, Miller said a new school would be attractive as well, noting that many people are impressed by Greenville High School, which is visible from U.S. 65 in Greenville.

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