Jordan High School could house performing arts academy

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Muscogee County School District just broke ground on a new middle school this week and there is another school in their future.

The Muscogee County School District is in the planning phase to build a $16 million performing arts academy. While some ideas are being thrown around, one is instead of building a new facility, update an existing building like Jordan Vocational High School.

"If you've got a budget of $16 million, to try and keep yourself on a budget you've got to use common sense and reinvesting it into a school that is already built has  better sense than building something brand new out there," explained Muscogee County School Board member Mark Cantrell.

There have been some options presented, such as the Bibb Mill property or building a new facility behind the existing education center. Cantrell said, "Bibb Mill which they would invest 4 to 6 million dollars to get that property, but it has been voted down at this time. Macon Road would be a good place for it. You have 14 to 15 acres and it's paid for plus you have the education building and the library right there."

School Board member Mark Cantrell has also brought up the possibility of Jordan Vocational High School to house the performing arts academy. The 98 year old school is more than 240,000 square feet and has room for more students.

He told News Leader Nine, "Jordan could no doubt use millions of dollars spent on it to keep it up to date. Right now Jordan's attendance is less than 700 students. Years ago 1,200 to 1,500 were going to Jordan High School. So if you added another 700 you'd have room in a school like this."

But Jordan is just an idea at this point, and Cantrell wants feedback from the public before moving forward with this decision, "When you're building schools you want to build it for the citizens of Columbus, Georgia. I feel like the citizens need to speak out and say this is what we would like done. That's why I put it out there, for citizens to decide what they would like."

Once a decision is made on where to put the new performing arts academy, it will be taken to a vote by school board members.

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved.