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Alternative Learning Program (ALP) project to include a new state of the art building at Madison High School

Along with this morning's school buses, a new state-of-the-art Alternative Learning Program (ALP) building rolled in at Madison High School. The building, a 100-foot-long structure color-matched to the high school, is the culmination of years of efforts by the District to improve facilities for ALP students.

Contractor Arrowood Construction started grade work on the project this week in the old practice field overlooking Ingles. A team led by Joe Davis unloaded insulation for the project while the steel for the building was unloaded from a tractor trailer. The Program is slated to be in the building by next academic year.

"Words cannot express the joy Mrs. Cuthbertson and I feel to see this project begin," said Jeff Smith, ALP Director. Smith, who started with the ALP in 2003, said the project has already started to send a strong message to ALP students. "It tells our kids that the District values them and has made a significant investment in their future." Those outside of the ALP often perceive the Program as a place of punishment, Smith said. "This is not the case. Today's ALP is one of credit recovery and preparation for life after high school. This new facility will help us better communicate the true vision of the ALP -- as an opportunity for students catch up and move on successfully to the next stage of life."

Building plans include three full-sized classrooms, a multipurpose area, restrooms, storage and a meeting spot. Current ALP facilities will be used for storage after completion of the new building.

"We've heard about this all year," said ALP student Remington Gaddy, "but it's different now that you see it actually happening. This means a lot to us." Sometimes students just need a little extra support to get through school, said Steven Shropshire, a recent ALP graduate and equipment operator for Arrowood Construction on the project. "I'm glad to be working on this, especially for these kids," he said. "People have to understand that not everybody's circumstances are the same."

Photo caption: ALP student Remington Gaddy looks on Friday as ALP graduate Steven Shropshire operates equipment for Arrowood Construction on the Alternative School project. The ALP project started this week on the campus of Madison High School.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Smith, ALP Director