City leaders in Northport voted Monday night to authorize a $50,000 study of existing schools that would be included in a standalone municipal school system they hope to create in the near future.

The new school system, a priority for Mayor Bobby Herndon and several members of the city council, has already been the subject of a feasibility study that found it would be pricy but possible for Northport to emancipate from the Tuscaloosa County School System and appoint a municipal board to oversee schools within their city limits.

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Last month, Mayor Bobby Herndon and City Administrator Glenda Webb said the process may require the total demolition and reconstruction of three existing schools, and the study approved Monday night will aim to conduct a top-to-bottom analysis of existing facilities and identify any upgrades, renovations or total rebuilds may be required inside them.

The city is also expected to order a public relations firm to conduct a poll of Northport citizens to gauge support of a standalone school system, but if the cost of that polling does not exceed $5,000 it will not require special approval from the council to conduct.

The resolution approved Monday night contracts the services of Criterion Consulting, LLC, a Birmingham-based firm designed specifically to help government leaders establish school systems.

The final price tag is to be determined based on the hours the firm works and other factors, but city administrator Webb said it would not exceed $50,000.

For more updates on discussions about a Northport City School System, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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