Birmingham BOE to discuss community partnership, superintendent evaluation

Kirby Middle School (

A powerful school and community-based partnership and{}the evaluation of the superintendent's duties are among topics to be{}discussed at the{}Birmingham Board of Education's work session Tuesday night, according to state chief financial officer Dr. Ed Richardson.

Richardson tells ABC 33/40 he had planned to reveal the findings of environmental tests being conducted at the former Kirby Middle School building, however those results won't be ready until April 16.

Superintendent Craig Witherspoon says it will cost the district $3 million to renovate and prepare the former Kirby Middle School Building for the planned Lewis/Norwood Elementary consolidation. However, he says that money comes from the district's capital fund, which is to be used for that purpose. He says this option would still save the district more in the long run.

Parents voiced concerns including the move to consolidate Norwood and Lewis Elementary schools instead of sending Norwood Elementary students to Phillips Academy, the length of changes in the district due to the financial recovery plan as well as the multimillion-dollar investment in the former Kirby school instead of using money to help existing schools. Witherspoon contends the plan is the best the board could come up with based on data it received from a variety of sources.