School board eyes Spencer property
Tracy L. Brady
A two-year search for expansion school system property may soon come to an end.
The Madison City Schools Board of Education recently authorized a land negotiation between Superintendent Dr. Henry Clark and Barbara A. Hughes Spencer for the purchase of approximately 50 acres of land located behind Spencer Shopping Center that may be used as the future site for a stadium, central office, middle school and school bus parking.
The current estimated purchase price of the property is $19,000 per acre.
In the absence of board vice president Sue Helms, board president Don Spencer passed the gavel to board member Dr. Shelia Nash-Stevenson when the authorization came to a vote. Spencer abstained from the vote entirely because his mother, Barbara A. Hughes Spencer, owns the land in question.
"This has been a two-year process in which I have had no involvement," Spencer said.
Clark supported Spencer's statement saying the land was being considered solely for its central location and potential to cover a variety of needs.
Attorney Woody Sanderson checked with the Alabama Ethics Commission and said if the land is purchased there should be no problem with Spencer's relation to the landowner as long as he does not participate in or influence the decision in any way.
The board must make a decision regarding the land purchase between July 15 and Sept. 30.
In other business, an Alabama Board of Education meeting will be held in Montgomery tomorrow. Liberty Middle School will be recognized for its national Blue Ribbon award. Bob Jones High School will be recognized for its state Blue Ribbon award. The Madison City Council has tentatively planned to recognize both schools at its June 24 regular meeting.