CALHOUN COUNTY After nearly 90 years, state officials and local educators agree it's time to retire the old Altha School House. The state has budgeted a total of $21 million to build a new school. Not only will it improve the learning environment, it will also improve safety.
The old Atha School will soon close its doors for the last time.
"Altha's been well; well, well overdue for a school,” said Calhoun Resident Alex Dudley. “They've needed it for a long time."
The state is giving Calhoun District School $21 million over the next 3 years to build a new facility to house grades Kindergarten through 8th.
The new one story building will be built on the backside of the current building over the next two years.
"If we had to save the money to build the new school ourselves, we figured it would take us about 39 years in order to finance that," said Altha School Principal Sue Price.
The new facility will also improve learning, providing students with the latest classroom technology. The old school house isn't wired for it.
"The white building was built in 1927 and some of the other buildings were built in the 1940s,” said Price. “So it's hard with the technology that we have today to do what we need to for our students."
Along with the transition to digital, another concern for the school is safety. The old building has two floors, and doesn't have an elevator which can be a challenge for some students.
Cables help hold the building together, and covered walks ways like this one are falling apart.
"It’s difficult for the students to get from one place to another when its bad weather without getting wet, ether because of the flooding or when it’s raining,” explained Price. “They will wet even though it's a covered walk way."
Dudley believes the school will help enhance the students.
"I think the school will be a morale booster and it will. It will definitely get kids back into the books and get their minds off of the surroundings."
The district hopes to break ground in the fall. Price says the school will be large enough to accommodate high school grades as well.