Alexander Wellness Center dispute continues

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Members of the public remained quiet during a public meeting to provide updates on the construction of a wellness center on the Alexander Schools’ campus. The Wellness Center, and its connection to a municipal sewer system, has been at the center of a dispute between the school system and the nearby Village of Albany.

The Alexander Board of Education met on Thursday to discuss the pending court dispute between the school district and the village.

Executive Meeting
The Alexander Local School Board of Education met at the Alexander library Jan. 26, 2017.

The Issue

Alexander Local Schools is building a Wellness Center for students and community members, but the village refuses to allow the building to tap into its sewage system. Albany insists that the school district be annexed into the village before the center is allowed access to its sewer lines. Alexander filed a lawsuit against the Village of Albany in response arguing its current contract allows access to all buildings on campus.

Executive Meeting

  • Was open to the public and held in Alexander’s library.
  • Meant to update community members on construction progress and status of the dispute.
  • The board asked for questions and comments from the crowd, although those requests were answered with silence.
  • The meeting lasted less than 10 minutes, but the board gathered for nearly two hours in executive session.
  • School board members are restricted from repeating what was discussed during the executive session.
  • An alternative septic sewage treatment system being constructed at Alexander is still under construction.

“They went into executive session and I’ll be lucky if I stay the whole time,” said Alexander’s facility manager and union president, Bryan McCollum.

The Wellness Center

The building’s exterior is near completion, but the interior is unfinished and a sewage system dispute needs to be resolved before it opens to students and members of the community. When the center is finished, it will include a walking track, community bathrooms, a weight training facility, two gymnasiums and a Holzer Health System doctor’s office.

Construction zone of Alexander’s Wellness Center

What is Next

The Alexander School Board of Education will assemble on February 15, at 7 p.m. No further action will occur on the Wellness Center until the board meets again. The committee holds meetings on the third Wednesday of every month.