Vote paves road for New Holt High School

      There was a bit of cheer Wednesday morning outside the Tuscaloosa County Commission meeting room. "His dream, a reality right there," chanted School Superintendent Elizabeth Swinford.{} She was referring to board member, Joe Boteler's long-time desire to see a new Holt High School.

      It just may happen. Commissioners approved letting school leaders used a one cent sales tax for new projects instead of earmarked projects.{} That means a new Holt High School, which is the county's oldest, could be in sight. "We felt why stay stagnate when have a whole new list of priorities and needs that we need to start looking at right now," said Swinford.

      Currently, $6.2 million is what remains from collections of the one cent tax this year. Part of that money will be used to begin looking for possible property sites for a new Holt High.

      Wednesday, ABC 33/40 took another look inside the current school. The hallways are spruced up. But, there are walls and windows with duct tape.{} If you look from one upstairs down at the school, its clear that the school is crumbling from the outside in.{} "It takes two years from the point you say go to you actually start turning dirt. So, that was the purpose behind this so we'll be able to go out and evaluate property available to us," said Board Member, Joe Boteler.

      In the meantime, Holt High's new principal admits what they've done is a band-aid fix but instead of just believing they'll get a new school -- now they know it.{}

      "Yeah, it's a band aid. Its not the ideal situation. But, perhaps in life when you have something that's not optimal and so that's what we've done," said Principal Rachel McDaniel.

      Also, part of the tax will help renovate the Loyd Wood Middle School building which will house the Sprayberry school for children with disabilities.