Columbia City Council to Debate Douglass High School Safety Improvements

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council will hold public hearings Monday night regarding a $33,000 student safety improvement plan for Douglass High School.

The plan calls for the removal and replacement of concrete walkways throughout the school grounds, as well as the replacement of old chain link fences with wrought-iron fencing. Currently, the chain link fences are approximately four-feet-tall, whereas the new wrought-iron fencing would be six-feet-tall. According to the city council's supporting documents, the Columbia Public Schools District requested the new fencing as a way to secure the grounds more effectively throughout the year.

Additionally, the improvement plan would include a memorial bench in honor of Beulah Ralph. Ralph, who passed away in 2010, worked at Douglass High School for 58 years. She is considered to be a leader in the process of desegregating Columbia's public schools in the 1960s.

The improvement plan's funding would stem from the PedNet Coalition, a non-profit organization that promotes walking and pedaling instead of using motorized means of transportation. The improvements to the sidewalk would also be considered part of the South Providence Road improvement plans.

If authorized, construction at Douglass High School would begin in May and end in August before the fall semester begins.

To see the Columbia City Council's supporting documentation for the plan, click here.