Settling in: A look inside the new AG/FCCS building
Panther Press Staff Reporter Liz Guzman asked FCCS teacher Claire Chandler and AG teacher Tom Clanton about their time in the new building so far.
LG: What is your favorite thing about the new facility?
CC: It’s up to date, and there are new appliances for the students to use in the food lab. We are also going to have more opportunities to cook on gas and electric, I’m excited for that. I am also excited for the larger classroom and the sewing areas.
TC: The workshop. We've got so much more room to work on our welding and projects.
LG: Was there anything that was difficult that’s been made easier now?
CC: It's just going to be newer and I think personally a little bit cleaner. We are also going to have plenty of hot water in the new building. We have a large water heater up there compared to the one in the old Home Ec. building. We will also have great storage and hopefully as we progress I’m getting a few things for hospitality and tourism in the food lab.
TC: Yes, the area. We have much more room now to work.
LG: Do you plan on having any outdoor landscape?
CC: At this point right now we’re just trying to get the grass to grow right out here in the front. I was also thinking of getting benches to go on the sidewalks. Mr. Crawford is also getting a flag to place out here. As far as shrubbery I am thinking of getting some plants out here to place in the front entrance.
LG: Was there ever any consideration before for a new building?
CC: Actually, Mr. Clanton was the one who suggested moving to a new building, but that was about 10 years ago when he suggested.
TC: Yes, we've been in the process of getting this new building for about 15 years.
Guzman also spoke to Principal Bradley Crawford about the project.
LG: How long did the project take?
BC: Approximately 18 months is how long it took from the start to the finish. It was originally supposed to be built in a year, but supply chain issues due to Covid caused a delay in getting materials on site to complete the project on time.
LG: How much did it cost and where did the funding come from?
BC: It was roughly 3.5 million dollars. The way buildings are paid for in Alabama schools is the legislature having what they call capital outlay money. Each district gets a certain amount that they are entitled to. So you have state funds that went into the project. Also over the years, there had been different political folks in the local legislature who had actually set aside some money--roughly $250k. That money has allowed Mr. Clanton and Mrs. Chandler to purchase additional items for their programs that might otherwise have not been possible.
Photos by Diego Jimenez