Superintendent: More classrooms at Berry is ‘top priority’

Published 2:18 pm Thursday, September 13, 2018

HOOVER – Minutes after approving a budget for the fiscal year that will begin Oct. 1, Hoover City Schools officials turned their attention to financial needs for the coming fiscal year and beyond.

The HCS Board of Education, at the request of Superintendent Kathy Murphy, scheduled a work session for 4:30 p.m. before the next regular Board meeting on Oct. 2 to discuss “school district priorities.”

More than $22 million is needed from 2018 through 2024 to address future needs such as additional classrooms, including eight classrooms at Riverchase Elementary School and 16 classrooms at Berry Middle School—which Murphy called the system’s top priority.

“We’ll continue to study where we are, and we may or may not, as we move forward, determine we need these pieces,” Murphy said.

The additional classrooms at BMS would likely come with a $7 million cost and ideally would be ready by fall 2021, Murphy said.

The superintendent also mentioned the need for 10 additional bus drivers, which would be among $378,000 in new expenses for the department.

HCS will also spend about $13.3 million to renovate the Riverchase Career Connection Center.

“I say all that to say I need your help,” Murphy told the Board about forthcoming financial decisions, and added that the school system needs additional sustainable revenue.

School officials mentioned the possibility of increasing property taxes in the city.

“This is a long process,” Board President Craig Kelley said.

In other business, the Board:

  • Scheduled a special called meeting for 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 25 to open bids for the renovation of the Riverchase Career Connection Center.
  • Was presented with $28,000 from Sen. Jabo Waggoner, who also presented $4,000 each to Spain Park High School and Hoover High School. Rep. David Faulkner also presented money from discretionary funds.
  • Approved job descriptions for three new positions: mental health and student support specialist, unitary status/diversity director, and curriculum coordinator.
  • Approved a bid from ESS for employee drug testing.