School board green lights $58 million bond for new elementary school
MADISON – At Thursday night’s Board of Education meeting, the school board approved a massive $58.3 million bond for the new elementary school located in Limestone County.
The new school will be on the west side of Limestone County on the former Halsey Farm property off of Hardiman Road and Segers Road. In December of 2021, the Madison City Council annexed the property in the neighboring county with the intention of adding residential areas and the new school to the land.
Thursday’s bond approval is a major step towards materializing the project that has been largely stagnant, with the exception of some land preparations started at the end of 2022, since the city acquired the land well over a year ago. Superintendent Nichols optimistically expects to issue bids for construction this coming fall with an ideal completed date for construction in the fall of 2025.
Madison City Schools Superintendent of Education Dr. Ed Nichols attributed the massive bond the school district was able to acquire for the new school to the great prosperity of the city of Madison and surrounding areas.
“One of the reasons that we were able to be so strong in the market and to have good financials was the support of our community and the success of our community. Our 12 mill just a few years ago helped us to do that, but also the growth of our community, the business growth, and all of those played a significant part when we were speaking to those folks at the bond market,” Dr. Nichols stated.
A recent audit, the results of which were also announced at Thursday’s meeting, revealed superb financial standing for the Madison City School District. The healthy financial state of the school district also significantly contributed to the acquiring of the $58.3 million bond, and Dr. Nichols extended his gratitude to the finance staff for their diligent record keeping and responsible budgeting.
“I applaud Ms. Williams and Ms. Gray and our staff for their daily budgeting,” Dr. Nichols said. “They keep up to date with the line items and expenditures and budgets and balances not on a monthly basis, that’s what they report to you, but they keep that going daily about where we are in our budget.”
The new school will be the eighth elementary school for the city of Madison and is a response to the ever-growing population that continues to increase the student bodies of city schools. According to Dr. Nichols The school district is currently approaching a total of 13,000 students and expects the number to grow still more to 15,000 in the next six to nine years.
According to the District Update released Friday afternoon, the school district is not currently planning for the construction of another high school in addition to the new elementary school, but is focused on expanding and maintaining Bob Jones and James Clemens High Schools to meet student body needs.
Further details about plans and timelines for construction of the new elementary school will be announced at the next school board meeting on Thursday, March 23 at 5p.m.