Altha Needs a New School

The Altha School library is a perfect example of the issues students and teachers face. At one table, middle schoolers. The next, seniors. Just around the bookshelf, first graders, practicing flash cards with 19 year old tutor, Conner Bristow.

"Everybody pretty much tries to help everyone with anything that they need," said Conner.

Some believe the community atmosphere sets the Altha School apart.

"It's part of our heritage, it's part of who we are and it's part of our make up,” said Calhoun County Superintendent Ralph Yoder.

Others say the family's getting too big for the village. With more than 600 students, school officials have already added 11 portables.

"I wouldn't want be in a portable and I don't think it's very good for them to have to be in a portable. So it would be good if we had more room for the students to be," said junior Brianna Yon.

So the county is asking the state legislature and the department education for a special facilities grant to build a new school.

"It's a type of funding for small rural communities who don't have the wherewithal, the tax base if you will, to raise all the revenue to construct the building themselves to construct new facilities.”

It's the same grant Calhoun County received several years ago to build the new Blountstown High School.

The state covered 89% of the cost, with the county making up the difference.

"The state covers the largest portion we would have to commit a certain part of our tax revenue for a period of three years to go sort of as a pay back, but it's a small investment locally."

If it gets through the budget process, construction could start as early as July 2014.


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