Two Area High Schools to Merge

Members of the Gadsden County School Board voted Tuesday evening in favor of closing Chattahoochee High School and transferring its students down the road to Greensboro High School.

Only one board member voted to keep Chattahoochee opened, but parents and teachers affiliated with Chattahoochee High School were upset, not only because the school is closing, but that the moving process begins immediately.

After years of debate among members of the Gadsden County School Board, it came down to a vote of 3-1 in favor of closing Chattahoochee High School.

"Our goal is to work over the summer, to bring the two communities together, two student bodies together, two facilities together, come august, we will not be just Chattahoochee or Greensboro, it will be a combination thereof,” comments Supt. Sterling Dupont, Gadsden County Schools.

Dupont says the move will save the school board close to half a million dollars.

"The district has been losing funds by keeping Chattahoochee open and it may not be the popular thing to do, but it's the sound thing to do, fiscally,” adds Barry Young, Assistant Coach, Greensboro High School.

Part of Dupont’s transition plan to Greensboro High School includes adding three portable classrooms and more school buses to transport students to Greensboro High. Parents and staff members connected to Chattahoochee High say the move is happening too soon, not giving Chattahoochee students enough time to say farewell.

"They're gonna be very disappointed, and I feel the Greensboro kids will be disappointed as well. They didn't have the opportunity to get together and gel together and become one,” comments parent Keith Williams.

“They didn't close that school right, they should have let them have their last year with a parade and go into a new school, consolidation is not the problem, they should have given them a fair chance, like they did Shanks and Havana,” adds parent Patrina Blue.

It's important to note that Isaac Simmons, the Chairman of the Board, was the one who voted against the closing Tuesday night.

He says he would rather see the move take place in 2006, because that's when the new West Gadsden High School is expected to be complete.

Supt. Dupont says he felt the move to Greensboro was a better decision since that school was built in the early 1990's. He also says the growth is moving toward the Greensboro Sawdust community.