FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VESTAVIA HILLS CITY SCHOOLS
August 24, 2017
VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (VHCS) — The Vestavia Hills Board of Education approved two significant action items during its regular meeting Wednesday night.
The board unanimously voted for Charles Mason, Ed.D. to lead the school system as interim superintendent following the retirement of Sheila Phillips, Ed.D., at the end of this month.
Mason served as superintendent of Mountain Brook Schools for 16 years. During his tenure, he oversaw several large-scale projects including capital improvements and grade realignment.
Mason also served as president of the Alabama Association of School Administrators from 2002 to 2003. After retiring from education in 2009, Mason joined construction firm Brasfield & Gorrie as Vice President and Director of Career Development.
“He’s widely regarded and uniquely qualified to help with many of the things we have going on in our school system,” Board of Education member David Powell said Wednesday night.
Board of Education president Nancy Corona said details of Mason’s term would be determined at a later date. “There are restrictions on how long an interim can serve as well as the earnings he can receive as a retired employee of the state,” Corona said.
The board also held an executive session on Wednesday night to discuss the possible purchase of real estate.
When the executive session concluded, the board reconvened and voted unanimously to sign a nonbinding letter of intent to purchase Gresham Elementary School from the Jefferson County Board of Education for $6.75 million.
Gresham Elementary School is located on a 27-acre campus off Dolly Ridge Road. The school currently serves approximately 420 students in grades K-5, according to the Jefferson County Schools public information office.
Phillips stressed that a letter of intent does not constitute a sales contract but simply lays the groundwork for the possible purchase of the campus at a later date. It is the same first step the school board took in 2016 when it purchased W.A. Berry High School from the Hoover City Board of Education.
In order for a sale to be completed, Phillips said, Vestavia Hills would need to follow the same process as it did in the Berry purchase, including an extensive inspection of the property, federal approval of the transaction, and annexation by the City of Vestavia Hills.
The process could take several months and would have implications on both school systems’ facilities development plans, which is why it was important to move forward with the letter of intent, Phillips said.
Vestavia Hills City Schools | Learning Without Limits
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