State officials were in Albany Thursday trying to sell Dougherty County School Board members on the idea of a career academy. Think of a trade school for high school students.
"It's a true blend of a high school and a technical college and even a university partner, so that students that participate in a college and career academy graduate high school with post secondary credentials," said Jenny Williams of the Georgia Technical College System.
An incentive from the state would push the project along.
If the board creates a plan meeting state requirements, they could qualify for a $3 million grant to help fund the school.
Still, one of the major considerations is, 'how much will something like this cost?' There are estimates ranging from $3 million all the way up to $30 million, but school Superintendent dr. Joshua Murfree says with community involvement this can be done in a cost effective way.
"The money comes from the community, it comes from the school, and it comes from our collaborative partners. That's making sure we're taking care of what we are doing and that's why I want the community to buy into education," said Murfree.
School board Chairman David Maschke, who has already voiced financial concerns over bringing in a career academy, was noticeably absent from the presentation. But in a letter, Maschke said the only feasible way he sees to bringing in a career academy would be to close down an existing high school to make way for the new campus.
Dr. Murfree says that just will not happen.
"That's never a consideration of Dr. Joshua w. Murfree as the superintendent and CEO, we will not be closing any schools to have a career academy," said Murfree.
The school board is expected to start discuss plans for a career academy at their next meeting.