Alabaster BOE looking to fund school assessments

Published 7:35 pm Monday, October 8, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabaster Board of Education likely will vote during an upcoming meeting to fund an assessment of the school facilities in the city, board members said during an Oct. 8 meeting.

During the meeting, board members voted unanimously to allow the BOE’s attorneys to send out requests for proposals to “several firms” interested in conducting the assessments.

The companies will have until 5 p.m. on Oct. 18 to submit their proposals for the project. After the companies submit their proposals, the school board will review them before voting on the project.

Alabaster School Board member Adam Moseley said the school board could call a special meeting to award the project before its next regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 12.

Alabaster BOE Coordinator of Administrative Services Dr. Phillip Hammonds said the assessments will provide the school board a detailed, accurate look at the condition of the schools in Alabaster’s city limits. If awarded, the assessments would include Creek View Elementary, Meadow View Elementary, Thompson Intermediate, Thompson Sixth Grade Center, Thompson Middle School, Thompson High School, the Shelby County Instructional Services Center and the Shelby County Alternative School.

“We need to know from a financial standpoint exactly where we stand,” Hammonds said, noting the assessments will look at everything from roofs to technology infrastructures at the school buildings. “We want it to be an objective assessment.”

Hammonds said the Shelby County School System, which currently operates all school facilities in Alabaster, has agreed to lend two of its maintenance employees to help in the assessments.

The Oct. 8 board meeting came about a month after Hammonds and Shelby County Schools Superintendent Randy Fuller had their first meeting to begin discussing Alabaster’s separation from the county school system.

Hamonds said the separation negotiations are “well under way,” and have been moving forward with a “spirit of collegiality.” During the negotiations, the two school boards will discuss several issues, such as staffing, buses and attendance zones, Hammonds said.

“I know everyone would like answers really quick, but we want to be sure we measure twice and cut once,” Hammonds said. “We want to be sure what we are sharing is completely factual.”

Alabaster has not yet finalized its split date with Shelby County Schools