HUNTSVILLE Ala (WZDX) - Three local school systems have been granted nearly $300 million dollars in Department of Defense funding.
Monday, the superintendents from Huntsville, Madison County and Madison City schools came together before county officials to announce their combined capital plan for $297 million in BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) funds.
"Today is Historic. Its a game changer," said Dale Strong, Chair of the Madison County Commission.
His sentiments were shared by dozens of elected officials from across the region Tuesday.
"What is going on here? More than a quarter billion dollars are being spent on education. That is not going on everywhere in the US," Strong said.
It is happening in Madison County because the Department of Defense has decided to invest in the county's school systems.
"You can't bring people into this community unless you have an education system that reflects what the needs are of those who want to come to Redstone Arsenal and the business community here," said Maj. Gen. (ret.) James Miles.
The granted funds are slated to be enough to put local school systems in a position to implement improvements for decades to come.
"What we are seeing here is a generational shift. This will take care of our community for the next 20 to 30 years in providing a quality education," Huntsville Mayor, Tommy Battle said.
As the combined plan was revealed Monday afternoon. Each superintendent took a turn outlining how the money will be used in their system.
"With approximately $56.1 million in BRAC money, we will build a new high school in the Sparkman area," David Copeland Superintendent of Madison County Schools said.
"We're looking at renovations of Bob Jones High School," said Madison City Schools Superintendent, Dee Fowler.
"At the end of the day, in three years from now, essentially every child that attends high school will go to a new high school in Huntsville," Huntsville Superintendent Casey Wardynski said.
The big picture, according to Mayor Tommy Battle, will extend beyond education, promising an economic benefit to the entire area.
"If you have a home in the area, you may not even have kids in the schools, your home is valued at a little bit more because of a good school system," Battle said.