School board approves bid to turn the old West Madison campus into PreK Center
MADISON – Announced three years ago, the conversion of the closed West Madison Elementary School into a districtwide PreK Center took a huge leap foward Thursday.
The Madison City Board of Education approved a bid from Limestone Building Group to renovate the 50,000 square-foot old school at 4976 Wall Triana Highway to house PreK classrooms.
WMES closed at the end of the 2020-2021 school year when Midtown Elementary opened. It was announced as part of the overall plan when residents approved a tax increase in 2019 to build Midtown and the new Journey Middle School.
The $7.35 million renovation of the old school building is expected to be completed by the beginning of the next school year in August. The makeover will house 21 PreK classrooms of 18 students, and possibly a couple more in the near future.
Madison City’s current allotment of state funded PreK classrooms under Alabama’s 1st Class PreK program is 12, so the renovation will nearly double capacity and help ease waiting lists that are typically 200 names long.
Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols said the district’s stand-alone PreK Center on Nance Road will likely be re-purposed for other district needs or perhaps sold. He also said the West Madison makeover could include accommodations for district operations relocated from the MCS administrative annex off Sullivan.
Retrofitting the former West Madison Elementary School into a PreK Center has the added benefit of having a gym and full cafeteria, library and potential multi-purpose rooms.