Shouts of "Yes! Yes! Yes!" and "God is good!" erupted from school supporters when the unanimous vote was taken around 11:30.
"This is the most exciting day I've had in politics since I worked with Gov. Roy Barnes to change the Georgia state flag," said Rev. Kenneth Augustus Walker, pastor of a neighboring church near Towns Elementary. "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, there is always a right time to do the right thing, and tonight the board did the right thing in keeping these schools open."
The board also voted to keep D.H. Stanton Elementary open. It accepted the rest of Davis' recommendations, which included closing seven other schools.
Dr. Shirley Williams, a Towns alumni, said she was euphoric the board voted to keep the facility open.
"This allows us to keep doing the great things at this school that we've already begun," she said.
Towns Elementary was recommended for closure last week, when a new set of recommendations was released by the APS right before spring break. Local residents and supporters rallied to support the school.
Frank L. Stanton has been on the closure recommendation list for several weeks.
District 2 school board member Byron Amos, whose district includes much of Cascade, said that much of Davis' recommendations were based on faith, "and we need more substance before we start closing all these schools."
The APS meeting, held at Jackson High School to accommodate a larger audience, was often dramatic and contentious, as several people were escorted out of the school auditorium for being disruptive. Accusations of racism and class warfare were hurled repeatedly at the board and Davis throughout the evening.
One man leapt onto the stage where board members were sitting before being tackled by police. APS Board Chairman Rueben McDaniel had to suspend the meeting twice because of the outbursts.