Alabaster approves school feasibility study
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2004
Alabaster city officials have taken their first official step toward gaining information into the feasibility of forming their own school system.
On Monday night, the Alabaster City Council voted unanimously to spend an amount not to exceed $12,000 for city attorney Greg Morris to provide an assessment and feasibility study on the formation of a city school system.
Councilmember Adam Moseley said the feasibility study is the first step in looking at the formation of a city school system.
He stressed that the action by the council is just to take a look because the council has lots of questions as to whether it can or should form a city school system.
Council President Rick Walters added that if the results of the feasibility study come back favorably, a more detailed study would then be conducted.
Alabaster is Shelby County’s largest city with some 25,000 residents and according to school officials, accounts for more than 5,000 students, or
some 23 percent, of the Shelby County School System’s total
As of the second month of the 2003-04 school year, Alabaster schools had a total enrollment of 5,067.
Thompson High School, the largest school attended by Alabaster students, boasted an enrollment of 1,299.
Other Alabaster schools include Creek View Elementary with an enrollment of 876, Meadowview Elementary with an enrollment of 867, Thompson Middle School with an enrollment of 1,223 students and Thompson Intermediate with an enrollment of 802 students.
Thompson High Principal Ron Griggs said the feasibility of Alabaster’s own school system is something the mayor and the city council of Alabaster will have to decide.
He said his concern is to &uot;do the best job for the kids.&uot;
Griggs said costs of operations and the feasibility of a school system for Alabaster is not something he would know about.
&uot;I’m just here to serve whatever happens,’&uot; Griggs said. &uot;The county has been good to us. It’s a good system.&uot;
Griggs noted, however, he will work with the people and the city.
Alabaster Mayor David Frings said the idea of a city school system was not his.
However, he said, city officials have &uot;just got to make sure it (a city school system) would be best for the city.&uot;
Frings said no questions about forming a city school system
have been answered at this point.
He said such questions include whether a city school system is wanted, cost and
&uot;can we have as good a system as we have now or better.&uot;
The mayor went on to say that the current county school system is a good one.
He also expressed the opinion that the council is just asking questions at this time.
Shelby County School Superintendent Evan Major said: &uot;At this point, I have had no official request for information.&uot;
He said he just knew that the possibility of an Alabaster City School System was brought up at a work session of the City Council.
Major said the school system &uot;will cooperate and give information needed so they (the city council) can draw their own conclusions.&uot;
Major said the loss of 5,000 students would affect the school system’s overall budget, including funding from the state.
Major said Alabaster previously raised the question of forming it own school system several years ago but decided at that time
it was better off staying with the county system.
Following Monday night’s council meeting Councilmember Tommy Ryals said of the council: &uot;We are not implying that the county is doing a bad job at all. We just feel we have an obligation to investigate the matter to see if it is feasible and if we want to do it.&uot;
Ryals also said he would also prefer to get input from city residents.
Moseley said: &uot;I think it is our responsibility to see if a city system will provide a better education for our children.
&uot;The county provides a good one (education).
&uot;I think it is incumbent upon us to see if we can improve what we’ve got,&uot; he said.
Councilmember Henry Hines said he has no problem with the county school system.
However, he said, a lot of people have asked him why the city could not have it owns school system.
He also said it was the job of city officials to look into such matters