by Carly Laing
December 18, 2023
JASPER, Ala. (WIAT) — Plans are moving forward for two new schools in Walker County.
Back in October, the Walker County Board of Education voted to move forward with building plans for new schools at Cordova Elementary and Dora High School.
Walker County Schools Superintendent Dr. Dennis Willingham said the budget for these projects is roughly $60 million.
Both schools will be built across from the current buildings, meaning construction will be going on during school hours. Dr. Willingham is asking parents and staff to be patient during the construction period.
Willingham said the new school at Cordova will include more classrooms and a new lunchroom as well as an improved parking lot.
“At Cordova, once we finish construction, the old school will be torn down and there will be a lot of parking there,” Willingham said. “That’s one thing we’re looking forward to as well because they’ve never had adequate parking and they will as we move forward with this project.”
Dr. Willingham also said Dora High School will be getting a new auditorium — a first for the school.
“As we’re building new high schools, we are putting auditoriums and theaters in each of our high schools,” Dr. Willingham said. “So that’s something that Dora is really excited about. They’ve never had an auditorium or theater and they will have [both] now.”
Both schools date back to the 50s and 60s. Dr. Willingham said these communities are long overdue for an upgrade and he’s excited to get the projects rolling.
“After we met with the stakeholders, one of their concerns was room to grow. So we have added some classrooms to this plan at Dora and Cordova. So that there will be room to grow at both facilities. Cordova will be getting a new lunchroom, they will have a two-story building for the classrooms, as Dora will. So we do have similar needs at both schools and we’re going to meet those needs,” Dr. Willingham said.
Dr. Willingham said the next step is to secure a contractor, then they will set a groundbreaking date for each project. Both projects are expected to take about two to three years to complete.