Helena High opening delayed to 2014

Helena High School will open in the fall of 2014. (Contributed)

By KATIE MCDOWELL/Lifestyles Editor

The opening of Helena High School has been pushed back to August 2014.

Tom Ferguson, assistant superintendent of Shelby County Schools, said weather and the time it took to secure the property contributed to the delay.

“With some of the rainy weather we’ve had off and on, it’s not as far along as we would like,” he said. “We evaluated everything and decided it wouldn’t be prudent on our part to open by 2013.”

Onsite preparation began earlier this year, but the soil needs time to settle before construction on the two-story, 225,000-square-foot building can begin.

“We’re disappointed,” Ferguson said. “We really did want to open the building by 2013, but we think in the long run, it will serve the students and the community better to do it right.”

Ferguson said Doster Construction Company of Birmingham will oversee the construction of the building.

“We’re real happy about that,” he said.

The new school will be located across Hillsboro Parkway from Helena Middle School. It will feature 39 classrooms, a gymnasium, football stadium and band and choral rooms.

Two of the larger rooms – the band and choral room and the drama and health sciences room – will also serve as storm shelters for students and staff. The reinforced rooms will be able to withstand winds up to 250 miles per hour.

The high school will be able to accommodate between 1,200 and 1,400 students.