New schools coming to three cities

The Shelby County Board of Education is planning to open the new Helena high school off Hillsboro Parkway in the fall of 2013. (Contributed/Shelby County Board of Education)

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Shelby County School District will be opening a new Calera Middle School and will be building a new elementary school in Chelsea and a new high school in Helena, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Randy Fuller announced May 17.

The announcement came when the school district released details of its capital improvement project plan.

The plan calls for a new Calera Middle School in the former Shelby Academy building off Alabama 25, which is projected to be open by the fall of 2012. The new middle school will serve grades six-eight, and will cause Calera Elementary to serve only grades K-second.

Calera Intermediate School will then be located in the former Calera Middle School on U.S. 31 in downtown Calera, and Calera High School will serve only grades nine-12.

The plan also calls for a new elementary school to be built in Chelsea, which will serve grades K-fifth and will be open in the fall of 2013. As a result, Chelsea Park Elementary and Mt Laurel Elementary will be restructured to house grades K-fifth.

Chelsea Middle School will expand into the current Chelsea Intermediate School, and will serve grades six-eight.

The county will also likely begin holding classes in the new Helena high school in the fall of 2013, which will cut Pelham High School’s enrollment in about half. Students who live in Helena and currently attend PHS will be rezoned to attend the new Helena high school.

No other grade structures will be affected in Helena schools.

Although the capital improvement plan called for a new intermediate school to be constructed in Alabaster, Fuller said the county school district will delay those plans until the Alabaster City Council decides if it will move forward with forming a city school district.

“Out of respect for the city leadership of Alabaster and their desire to start a new school district, we will not move forward with our plans to build a new school (in Alabaster) at this time,” Fuller wrote in a letter to school, city and county leaders.

In addition to the new buildings, the capital improvement plan also calls for library and gymnasium renovations at Wilsonville Elementary, and kitchen and cafeteria renovations and a gym expansion at Columbiana Middle.

The plan also includes a gym and locker room renovation at Montevallo Middle School, a library renovation at Inverness Elementary and an auditorium renovation at Vincent Middle/High School.