Fort Payne to name new school

The Fort Payne City Board of Education plans to visit the new intermediate school campus immediately before its regular monthly meeting June 25.

The board reviewed a list of names suggested by city school system employees at its last meeting.

The Times-Journal took those titles and conducted an informal online poll on times-journal.com to determine what the public might favor. Leading by a wide margin was Fort Payne Intermediate School with 51 percent, followed by Sequoyah Intermediate School with 14 percent, Little River Intermediate School with 11 percent, Valley Ridge Intermediate School with seven percent, Big Wills Intermediate School with six percent, Wills Town Intermediate School with six percent, Mountain Ridge Intermediate School with four percent and Allen Spring Intermediate School with one percent.

There is no guarantee the school board will select any of those titles. They could name the school after a person, although board members say that is unlikely to happen.

The decision on what to call the new school is a big one because citizens will likely speak and write it for decades to come. The campus it is replacing, Williams Avenue Elementary, opened 66 years ago and hosted grades one through six.

Education Superintendent Jim Cunningham asked board members to settle on a name so he can plan for a sign marking the campus and begin processing future paperwork with the designated title.

The new campus covers 21 acres, filling a 100,566-square-foot space with 47 classrooms and other facilities. It is tentatively set to open this Christmas.

The school board meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Conference Room of the Central Office.

Seating is limited as social distancing requirements will be observed.

The tentative agenda calls for discussion of personnel matters and Chief Financial Officer Patty Strickland will present the May 2020 financial statements and bank reconciliation reports for consideration and approval.

The board will also discuss any matters Cunningham brings up in his report.

This will be the first meeting for new school board member Sharon Jones, who was recently appointed to replace former board vice-president Randy McClung, who departed after a decade of service on the board.

At the May 14 meeting, the board re-elected Jimmy Durham as president and selected Kathy Prater as board vice-president.

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