Albany State University's Andrews Hall, the current home of the Dougherty County School System's Albany Early College, is at the center of a review by ASU officials to see if the 360-student school can remain on Albany State's campus. (March 12, 2013)
ALBANY, Ga. — Less than two weeks after asking Dougherty County School System Interim Superintendent Butch Mosley to relocate the Albany Early College from Albany State University's Andrews Hall, ASU President Everette Freeman is reviewing the multi-year agreement.
In a release issued Tuesday afternoon, ASU said the future location of the program that encourages middle school students to graduate from high school and helps them prepare for college is under review.
"Recently, a meeting was held with Dougherty County Schools Interim Superintendent Butch Mosley and Dr. Freeman to explore the best long term options for Albany Early College's location," ASU Vice President for Fiscal Affairs Larry Wakefield said. "Subsequently, a tentative agreement was reached with Executive Director of Finance and Operations Ken Dyer about a financial settlement which was to have been considered by the board as part of the DCSS consolidation plan."
The DCSS, however, points to three-year contract with a two-year option, (signed late last year) and more than $350,000 in recent renovations to two floors of Andrews Hall, in addition to a $2,000 per month lease payment.
"Since 2009, AEC officials used the first and second floors for four years at no cost," the ASU statement said. "Last year, a renovation project occurred to prepare the third floor for use. Over the years, ASU has invested $300,000 to build laboratories, a dining facility and classrooms for AEC's use. After the renovations were completed in 2012, AEC took over the entire building under a new lease agreement which required payment of $2,000 a month plus utility costs."
Freeman said that with the DCSS looking at possible school closures and consolidations it was a good time to review the program.
"The University System of Georgia's Board of Regents has requested that all of its institutions review and inventory campus buildings to prioritize the use of classrooms, labs and staff offices," Freeman said. "With the DCSS's plans to consolidate and close schools, it's time to rethink how Andrews Hall is utilized."
Of the state's 11 early college programs, Albany Early College is the only one located on a University System of Georgia campus.
"ASU remains committed to collaborating with the DCSS to improve high school completion and expand access for students in the Dougherty County School System," the university said.
The DCSS currently has 360 students in grades 6-11 attending Albany Early College.