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Large turnout forces hearing venue change

More than 150 people crowded into the Dougherty County School System Board room Monday during a public hearing to discuss the possible closure of two schools and repurposing of another. Many could not get into the room and waited outside in the school administration building's lobby. The large turnout prompted authorities to move Thursday's noon hearing to the Governmental Building's city-county commission meeting room.

More than 150 people crowded into the Dougherty County School System Board room Monday during a public hearing to discuss the possible closure of two schools and repurposing of another. Many could not get into the room and waited outside in the school administration building's lobby. The large turnout prompted authorities to move Thursday's noon hearing to the Governmental Building's city-county commission meeting room.

ALBANY, Ga. — Due to the large crowd that attended Monday’s public hearing concerning proposed school closures, Thursday’s second public hearing has been moved to the downtown Governmental Center’s commission meeting room (Room 100). The meeting remains scheduled for noon.

Dougherty School Board Chairwoman Carol Tharin said any citizen wishing to speak before the board must completely fill out a signed speaker request form and turn it in before 12:05 p.m. Thursday.

Speakers will be limited to three minutes each.

The decision to move the hearing from the school administration board room to the commission meeting room was made after more than 150 people crammed into the board room on Monday. Many could not get inside the room and were forced to wait in the lobby.

On Wednesday of last week, the School Board voted to accept a consultant’s plan to close Sylvester Road Elementary and Dougherty Middle schools and to repurpose Magnolia Elementary.

Sylvester Road and Dougherty Middle are in District 6, which is represented by board member Darrel Ealum

“I counted around 200 folks (at the Monday hearing) and most were from the eastside,” Ealum said. “I am proud that folks from the eastside and District 6 stood up and were counted. They sent a message loud and clear that before two of three schools are closed in one district, the plan needs a closer look.”

The board could vote on the closings as early as its next regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, or it could delay the vote for further study.

Comments

rightasrain 1 year, 5 months ago

If (as reported by the AH) the School Board on Wednesday of last week voted to accept a consultant's plan to close Sylvester Road Elementary and Dougherty Middle schools and repurpose Magnolia Elementary, it seems these "hearings" are just formality. Seems like the deed is already done. If they accepted the plan, they've already voted to close the schools.

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