North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

October 5, 2012

Our Views: Burkett Center is a place north Jefferson can truly be proud of

North Jefferson News

AN NJN EDITORIAL — The recent move of the William Burkett Center for Multi-Handicapped Children to the old Mortimer Jordan High School campus serves two benefits.

First of all, it makes good use of an older facility that has a long and beloved history to the residents of Kimberly, Morris and surrounding areas. The old Jordan had seen better days as a contemporary high school, and its replacement is a true jewel. But the old campus still has lots of life left in it, with a little tender loving care — which is exactly what the county school system gave it as the transition was made to the new home for Burkett.

And what a new home! Ask anyone who worked or had children at the old location in the former Springdale Elementary School, and to a person they will tell you that it was cramped, old, and pretty much decrepit. Not the sort of place that is conducive to working with students who face the greatest of physical and mental challenges.

The new Burkett Center is a vast improvement. There’s roughly triple the amount of space, and new classrooms that are specially adapted to these children’s needs. The technology there has taken a quantum leap, with new whiteboards that function as computer touch screens.

Simply put, one would be hard-pressed to find a better facility anywhere for the education of special-needs children.

No one saw this years ago when the Burkett Center was given its name, but with the move to the old Jordan campus, it is now most appropriate. Dr. Burkett was the principal there (preceding Jimmie Trotter) before he became the first superintendent of the county schools to actually have been a student in the system. He generously made a $25,000 donation to the school during its open house last week.

The Burkett Center’s new facility is a place that our communities can be proud of. We’re glad they can call our area home.