Dalton voters choose to build new school at their expense

Interim Superintendent Don Amonett says Dalton Middle is overcrowded. They now use portable buildings to house some classes. (Image: WTVC)

Dalton voters choose to pay more taxes to build a new school.

It was a debated topic after one group asked where the county stands on the idea of consolidation.

The new building will go across from the middle school on the Dalton Bypass.

Superintendent Don Amonett says it will improve the classroom experience for every student in the district.

Fernanda Koop has four children and says she's torn by the news of a tax increase.

It's a hit to her wallet but one that will benefit her kids directly.

"I like it and I don't like it because the classrooms get more money in a sense, which as a teacher as I like but then as a parent, you know, it's like we had to sacrifice more money," Koop said.

The new school will go across the road from the middle school.

Interim Superintendent Don Amonett says people voted to support a bond package to pay for construction.

It creates a new property tax.

"This was a very debatable topic," Amonett said. "It really divided the community in several aspects."

Amonett says the new school will house 6th and 7th graders.

Eighth and 9th graders will go in the current middle school.

Amonett says it will solve one of the district's biggest problems: overcrowding.

"By doing this we will have space to be able to look at lowering class sizes and innovative programs as well," he said.

In August, the Dalton League of Women Voters told us why they asked the school board to consider consolidating with Whitfield county schools.

"It's not criticism of either system, its not trying to promote one over another, its rather an effort to try to work together for the benefit of all our kids," Peppers said back in August.

Peppers chose not to comment after Tuesday's vote.

A vote to build a new school almost solidifies the plan to stay separate.

Amonett says they plan to have a new building there by 2020.

He says Dalton Middle is the 7th largest middle school in Georgia.

The other 6 schools are in Gwinnett County near Atlanta.

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