Reporting by WVUA 23’s Allison Underwood

Locals piled into the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education building Tuesday night, eager to hear the construction updates on the local schools.

Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, Woodland Forrest Elementary and Eastwood Middle School are currently undergoing construction. Edward Smith, executive director of facilities, said their main goal in the new and improved schools is to provide a better learning atmosphere for the students.

“The resources of having good buildings, buildings that sustain over time,” Smith said.

While Woodland Forrest Elementary and Eastwood Middle School are only renovating the existing buildings, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School is being completely rebuilt. They tore down the old school and are using the same foundation as the old one.

Smith said children that attend Martin Luther King Jr. are currently meeting at Stillman Heights School daily.

“I think it is a transition; I think it is something that we, the board members, the superintendent work very hard to make sure this is a great place of learning,” Smith said. “We just want to get them in and take care of that place for another 35 to 40 years.”

Marvin L. Lucas, District 6’s school board representative, said they have a draft resolution on a local academic school calendar that is not state mandated, but mandated by Tuscaloosa City Schools.

“Local control builds on what is important for your area and your community versus having a cookie cut,” Lucas said. “We can’t cookie-cut the calendar because different parts of the state, different parts of the areas do different things.”

All of the projects are expected to finish by July 2020.

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