Proposal to close Albany High draws mixed reactions on social media

Last week, the Dougherty School Board heard a proposal to close and repurpose Albany High School, reducing the number of high schools in the county from four to three. The reaction on social media such as Facebook and The Herald’s website has been mixed. (Herald File Photo)

ALBANY — Last week’s proposal to close and repurpose Albany High School created a flurry of responses on Social media such as Facebook and The Albany Herald’s website. Most of the responders say they understand the reasoning behind the proposal, while many others are vehemently opposed.

Here are some of the digital responses:

Wayne Carter

I want to thank Terry Lewis for the article in today’s paper on the closing of Albany High School. Terry makes many valid points about the need for the closing and against the continued illogical use of the building. While emotionally, I have a desire to hang on to that part of my heritage (class of ‘70) and fond memories, Terry presents the cold hard fact that building has seen its hay day and its usefulness has passed it by. He cuts to the chase and shows the lack of any real need for a High School building in that location NO matter the name.

While I will always cherish my fond memoirs of Albany High, I have long ago accepted DCSS has turned AHS into something I cannot identify with today. The time has come for more people ,especially DCSS and other Albany leaders, to face the facts. Albany has and is changing, and for the most part that change is not for the betterment of the economy or the growth of Albany. With a heavy heart, I stand with Terry. It is time to start cutting the dead and dying baggage in Albany and give TAXpayers some hope.

Joe Maxey

I agree that Albany’s demographics cannot support four high schools. But I think the issue here involves more than numbers. What about the schools’ academic performance? The graduation percentage, the college prep and honors courses, art and music curriculums and their students’ percentage and performance standards, dropout rates, etc.? I don’t know this for a fact since I have been out of this field for a while, but I would bet you that Albany High ranks right at the top of this list. So does Westover.

Both of these schools have a top quality proven academic track record. So the real issue is which school SHOULD be closed. I think one of the two bottom performers. No issue with busing, is there? We’ve been doing it since the late ’60s. Westover and Albany High could absorb Monroe’s students without a minority/majority problem. So could Albany and Monroe should Dougherty High be closed. Just my two cents.

Sonny Lofton

Thanks,Terry. Again your logical progression of facts pull the reader along to a logical conclusion. I attended Albany High from 1963 to ‘66. Loved the place. We had 1,825 students enrolled my sophomore year. That number did not include the over 600 freshman housed at Albany Junior High on Jefferson.

That is 2,400 students. Not one was black. I used to shop at dozens of places downtown that no longer exist. Theaters, restaurants, stores, doctor and professional services that were downtown and vital to the economy. Now all gone. Jerry Brimberry and his family are some of the best people I know.

But this fight is not worth it. Love you, Jerry, and you know it.

Albany High is a great memory for literally thousands of people. But its time is over. Let it die with respect.

Ty Long

Education isn’t supposed to be a business.

Catherine Johnson

Albany High is also the oldest building, likely the hardest to keep updating and keep to code. If less people had pulled their children out of the system into private schools, the public system would be doing better. It’s a downward spiral. The more children that are moved out, the worse the system gets and the more people choose to pull their kids out.

Mikey Hardy

I call b.s. Albany has always had low numbers. So now, all of a sudden, after the money they spent on a lunch room, now it is time to close it down? Numbers will drop more because I see lots of parents getting ready to homeschool kids cause once again the school system made a poor choice.

Shawn Robinson-Hairston

So what they are saying is that they are making a business decision about my children’s future? What about the kids? What about every child who attends AHS? Education and business should not mix!

Steph McDaniel Carr

This is terrible. Their efforts to save money is going to be detrimental to the other schools because class size will go up tremendously. Mark my words — after this happens, in a few years they’ll be adding on to the other three schools to accommodate the size of the student body.

Ed Mann

Does Dougherty have SPLOST? It will build you new schools and new sport fields. New computers. My county has it. We have six public schools in county. They start with one school, then the next and so on. All schools are in great shape now. Kids are proud.

Loyless Harris

The biggest problem is that Albany High has been the only high school in Central/North Albany. Monroe is south, Dougherty is east, Westover is west, and there is not one in the north part of town, but not much land there, either.

Kalena Rouse Meeker

Did they ever finish any of the renovations? They started planning this overhaul when I was there over 15 years ago. From what I remember, the school was falling apart, and we were constantly on lockdown because of some drug bust happening nearby. Or worse, random strangers would come into the school and walk the halls with the students. Anyone remember when the school resource officer had to body slam an intruder for threatening to suck our coach’s blood?

Long story short, the closing of AHS does not surprise me. I do, however ,feel bad for the faculty and staff at the other three schools. Low registration or not, the classes were already overcrowded, and now I fear these kids are going to receive even less attention than before.

Patricia Tinson

Really. Hasn’t been that long when they remodeled it. My children went to Albany middle and Albany high school. Indians For Life.

Taloya Chakala Clemmons Cleare

What they need to do is force the city to force the surrounding home/property owners to clean up their neighborhood.

Lori Michelle Dremel

If they close the building, they should rename Westover “Albany High.” It isn’t right that Albany would have no high school named after itself. Or name Dougherty “Albany/Dougherty High.” But it’s really just a bad bad bad idea to close any school. Should be thinking how to educate kids the right way.

Angel Bradford

Why would you eliminate the oldest high (over 100 years old) school and the one named for the city?

Bill Jones

Decline in enrollments? Probably because by the time they reach high school level a lot of the students are in prison or other detention facilities, or the parents have had enough of the DCSS and have moved the students elsewhere.

Burkett Carver

Seven years ago, our brilliant city/county officials and DCSS leadership decided to spend $11 million in taxpayer money to renovate and update Albany HS. Now, like Magnolia Elementary, it is doomed and likely to be forgotten. Albany being ‘Smallbany’ again.

Ken Dyer

Two public hearings are being planned to allow community members to voice their concerns and be informed regarding how we got to where we are and see why the three-high-school, direct-feeder model makes sense for the students of Dougherty County.

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