ELBERTA, Ala. (WALA) – Foley high school officials said they have about eight years before their school reaches capacity. People in neighboring Elberta argue before that happens, they should build a new high school in their town.
“Foley’s not a bad school at all, but it’s very crowded,” Ronica Hartin, co-owner of Cookies Cottage & Consignment, said.
Hartin is a mother of three boys. Two who graduated and one who is still a student at Foley High. She said Elberta has the land and is prime real estate for a new school.
“These people are growing and they need to produce with the growth. They need to keep going,” Hartin said.
Baldwin County school officials see the potential benefit as well.
“It would relieve the population crunch at Foley High School. It could also relieve the population crunch at Robertsdale High School and perhaps even at our Gulf Shores facility,” Superintendent Dr. Alan Lee said.
But with funding being a constant issue, Lee said it’s unclear how soon building a new high school could happen.
“Whether we can build a high school in Elberta or not, I don’t know. I certainly am not opposed to it, but at this point, I don’t know where that would fit in our sequence of buildings we need to construct,” Lee said.
Town councilman Michael Hudson said Elberta needs to be high up on the public school project list.
“I feel like our area has been overlooked for years and no one has really brought the attention that it deserves, but the children in our area and the parents and the community they deserve it,” Hudson said.
But whether that can become a reality is still a ways down the road.
Lee said they should have a model for how to handle growth in the county feeder patterns by June 1. The next Baldwin County community meeting will be held in Foley High School this Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.