Calera Middle is an example of planning done right

Calera Middle School opened its doors to students for the first time this week.

Several hundred students poured into the new school, which is actually the former Shelby Academy. The $11.7 million facility serves sixth-eighth grades, and includes two science and computer labs, an art room and more.

Rene Day, coordinator of career tech education with Shelby County Schools, called the new school “state of the art.”

“It’s a model for what we want in all of our schools,” she said.

More importantly, at 102,000 square feet, the school has room to grow. The school houses about 600 students and has room for another 200, in addition to space for another building. The new middle school also frees up space and resources at the high school and intermediate school.

At the rate Shelby County is growing, the additional space will soon be put to good use. Enrollment in the Shelby County School System is at an all-time high with more than 28,000 students scattered across dozens of schools throughout the county.

We would like to commend the Shelby County Board of Education for planning ahead for future students in the Calera area.

Keeping up with Shelby County’s growth is difficult, especially with a limited budget. However, we believe it’s important to plan ahead, rather than going for a quick fix.

Calera Middle is a great example of planning done right.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.