Possible De-Merging of Enterprise/Ozark Community College

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Enterprise/Ozark Community College faculty members received some frantic phone calls on Tuesday, from area residents about the campus doors closing.

Wednesday, a news conference was held to clear up any confusion.

William Tidwell is finishing up his second semester in aviation at Enterprise/Ozark Community College and is happy to hear it may soon be turning primarily into an aviation school. "I feel that it would be a good step towards the actual careers of the students,” he said. “For them to do that, it'd be better for them."

Some members of the community weren't as happy Tuesday though, hearing rumors that the campus as a whole may close its doors indefinitely.

Chancellor Bradley Byrne said, "Someone spent several thousand dollars paying for pre-recorded phone messages that went into at least two prefixes here in the Ozark area.

Chancellor Byrne cleared the situation Wednesday afternoon in a news conference and spoke of the proposed plan to make Enterprise/Ozark a stand-alone aviation college.

Ozark Mayor Bob Bunting says the possible new program would be a win, win all around. "This will be one of the best things that can happen to the Wiregrass."

The proposed plan would de-merge Enterprise/Ozark Community College and have the campus focus on aviation.

The new school would be called the Alabama Aviation College.

However, Mayor bunting says the school would still offer general classes and would not displace already existing students.

Mayor Bunting concluded, "There'll probably be an affiliation with one of the colleges, could be Wallace, it could be Enterprise; that’s what I see."

Mayor Bunting says if passed, it would pose not only as a great asset to the city of Ozark, but to the state of Alabama as well.

The school board will vote on the de-merging next week in Montgomery. Mayor Bunting says he and others will attend to show their support.

The chancellor says if passed, he would like to see the plan go into effect by the fall semester of 2008.

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