0

Albany State reviewing Albany Early College deal

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 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.

Comments

MRKIA 1 year, 9 months ago

LET THE DCSS USE IT'S OWN BUILDINGS TO ACCOMODATE THIS PROGRAM AND UPDATE OR RENOVATE AS NEEDED WITH THE REFUND THEY ARE ENTITLED TO FROM ASU. ASU: REFUND EVERY DIME AND KEEP IT MOVING.

0

RedEric 1 year, 9 months ago

ASU, remember please that school tax burden is on a minority of municipal citizens. We need every dime we can get. Negotiation is fine, but we of the minority property tax payers need to get that $350,000 back to renovate existing buildings. We demand our minority rights!

2

chinaberry25 1 year, 9 months ago

Notice that this was done after the renovations were done, not before.

0

FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

Give us our money back and we will leave. Gladly. Everything that can be done to distance DCSS from ASU should be undertaken, posthaste.

0

Ihope4albany 1 year, 9 months ago

I am somewhat dismayed at how this story and the one from yesterday paint ASU out to be the scapegoat. First, if ASU is being mandated by its Chancellor to re-evaluate space on its campus for campus operations, then they have to be compliant. It is the same thing that DCSS is currently doing in terms of the school closures and merger discussion. Funding is scarce for both agencies. Second, ASU has invested $300,000 in expenses for the Early College and DCSS has invested $350,000, a total of $750,000. However, DCSS has had free space for four years that would be approximately $80,000 that ASU has donated as well. So it is not as if DCSS has only contributed, which leads to my next point. It seems that ASU was operating in good faith to offer DCSS a negotiated amount. Yet, the story from yesterday has made it seem as if ASU was just kicking the program off the campus, which is not the case. Fourth, of the 10 Early College programs in the state (http://www.usg.edu/educational_access/access_success/early_college), there were four (4) programs housed on campuses. Of those, 2 currently still house the programs, ASU and Georgia College. Valdosta State University no longer houses the Early College and I have been unable to find out if the Early College housed at Georgia Southwestern still exists. It is not shown on the Sumter County District website.

Therefore, I hope that DCSS and ASU work this matter out so that the Early College students continue to succeed whether they are housed on the campus or off the campus.

0

MRKIA 1 year, 9 months ago

WHO CARES. ASU: A REFUND IS DUE.

0

Sign in to comment