MONTGOMERY, AL | JUNE 10, 2008–Construction on the James W. Wilson, Jr. Elementary School commenced at New park on May 29, 2008. The Montgomery Public School System held a groundbreaking ceremony for Montgomery’s newest Elementary School located within a neighborhood, with over 100 people in attendance. Clay Slagle, Montgomery Public School Chief Operating Officer, reports that the $14.5 million kindergarten through sixth-grade school will be completed for occupancy in August 2009. “Six hundred boys and girls will soon have a beautiful place to learn,” Slagle said.
The school will be accessible by sidewalk and bike to residents who live within the New Park neighborhood. The 15 acres of land that the school will occupy within the neighborhood was donated by the family of the late Jim Wilson, Jr. Jim Wilson & Associates is the developer of New Park. Mr. Wilson, who died in 2006, was a well-known community leader, philanthropist and real estate developer, with notable projects such as the Wynlakes neighborhood and country club and the Eastchase development in Montgomery and Riverchase Galleria in Birmingham, among other projects throughout the Southeast. The new 83,000 square foot school will utilize the gymnasium facilities of a new YMCA, which is being built next door to the school on land also donated by the Wilson family. The new YMCA will break ground later this summer. Mr. Wilson told his family that he wanted to give something back to the Montgomery public school system, which he credited with helping him prepare for life, reported his son Jim Wilson, III. “My father was a giver and always put others ahead of himself, so leaving a legacy to help enrich Montgomery’s children was very important to him,” said Wilson.