Magnet School May Be Moving Into Former Montgomery Mall

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By Jessica Gertler

Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School in Montgomery, LAMP for short,  could have a new home. The nationally-recognized magnet school may be moving into the former Montgomery Mall. 

"You're thinking why would she want to put a school in the mall? Why is that attractive?" says Montgomery Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Thompson. "We think [LAMP] deserves something that's a little more different look. A more cutting-edge, high-tech look."

Thompson is proposing moving LAMP into the old Montgomery Mall and ripping out the parking lots to place new athletic fields, a gym and common area.

"Most students will probably be a little shaken up by the change, but LAMPers are very good at adapting to changes," says Dontavious Sippial, who attends LAMP.

Right now, school officials say part of the building that LAMP is in is condemned.

"This is a nice place, but I have walked in there sometimes, and the floors are creaking and everything," says Earlene Ross. Her grandson attends LAMP.

Last year, the school board approved placing Montgomery Technical Education Center in the old J.C. Penney building. Thompson says both schools would operate independently with their own entrances, cafeterias and parking areas.

Lyona Robinson thinks the plans will help revitalize the area. 

"I think the for sale signs need to go down. I think the businesses need to come back to the neighborhood," she says. "This will do that."

MTEC is set to open August 2014. LAMP a year later.

The plans are still on the table, and contracts still need to be signed. The plan will be discussed at the board meeting next week.

Thompson is also proposing moving some of the central office building to the mall. 

The price of these projects is still up in the air, but Thompson says in the long run, it will save the school system $1 million.

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