The Jackson County Board of Education approved the purchase of the spec building and 30 acres of land located in the Jackson County industrial Park at its meeting on Dec. 19. The board purchased the building and land in Hollywood for a total of $850,000.
Board Member Charles West was the only member to vote against the purchase.
“I don’t think the community has had enough input. I think the people that made the decision, the supervisors and the board members, should get the community involved,” said West, explaining his reason for voting against the purchase.
West also said the board needed to get the City of Scottsboro involved before the county starts building a new $30 million technical school.
“I don’t think the county can afford the it,” said West. “I don’t think we have enough students in the county to afford that. It’s way too much money.”
Robbie King, republican candidate for the Board of Education responded to his opponent’s vote to deny the purchase in a statement to the Jackson County Sentinel.
“We need leaders who will put our students first,” said King. “This purchase will not only provide workforce development opportunities for our students but will also position our county to recruit industry and create jobs.”
King continues, “Jackson County students deserve board members who are forward thinking and are willing to do the right thing. Our county has so much potential to grow and prepare our students for the workforce. As board member, I pledge to be a leader for our students.”
King, whose wife is an educator and children are students in the county school system, points to his family as his willingness to serve.
“Our children deserve the best education we can provide them. Our school system must give them every opportunity to succeed. Now is the time to tap into the unlimited potential of the students. With projects such as this, our county is investing in the future of each child in our school system. This will allow Jackson County students to compete with others in a competitive job market. The future is bright, and we need leaders who are willing to fight for it. If elected, I will put progress over politics and be a champion for our students,” said King.
County Schools Superintendent Kevin Dukes said the new building will house professional development and career technical programs for Jackson County students. He said if the board was in agreement, he would also like to move the central office there as well. Dukes said the purchase was a big deal for Jackson County as a whole.
He believes that when they are in the industrial park with the building and can offer workforce development and career technical programs, it will help recruit industry to Jackson County. Dukes said he wants to help Jackson County students get good jobs.