For instance, programs such as vocational education based at Gardendale High are used by students from other schools like Fultondale, Mortimer Jordan and Pinson Valley. If Gardendale broke away, the county would have to build new facilities for those programs.
Then there’s the question regarding whether residents of unincorporated Mt. Olive would vote to annex themselves into Gardendale for the purpose of staying in the GHS feeder system. If they do not, those students would possibly be required to attend school elsewhere. That figures into plans the county board has to make for renovating or replacing the aging Fultondale High School.
But Nowlin sees that there is definitely sentiment building toward a break between Gardendale and the county system.
“We respect the right of this to happen, though. It’s kind of like the thing to do, especially in some cities,” he said.
Phillips said that the city was a couple of weeks away from setting a date for the first part of the process, a referendum to establish a property tax. It’s the start of a procedure that will be lengthy.