Alabaster BOE plans day-one renovations at schools

Published 7:28 pm Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Alabaster School Board is planning several short-term renovations to the city's schools, including Thompson High School. (File)

The Alabaster School Board is planning several short-term renovations to the city’s schools, including Thompson High School. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

When the Alabaster Board of Education assumes control of the city’s school buildings on July 1, new Alabaster BOE Operations Coordinator Jeff Atkins wants the school grounds to “look like someone kicked a hornets’ nest.”

“We want there to be a swarm of activity on July 1, the day the city takes over,” Atkins said during a June 19 Alabaster School Board work session.

During the work session, Atkins and incoming Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers outlined plans to renovate portions of several of the city’s schools before classes resume in August.

“We’ve only got one first-time impression,” Vickers said, noting Alabaster will finalize its split from the Shelby County School System at the end of June. “We want there to be some ‘Wow’ when the students walk in that first day. The kids deserve it.”

Vickers said Alabaster City Schools will work to replace the tile in the Thompson High School lobby, replace carpet in several THS classrooms and possibly pave over the gravel student parking lot across Warrior Drive from the school’s main entrance.

Alabaster City Schools also is looking to repaint the restrooms “in every Alabaster school,” and is planning to recarpet and repair broken seats in the THS auditorium.

The city’s schools likely will receive a “deep-cleaning” and landscaping upgrades before classes start as well, according to Vickers.

While replacing items such as floor tiles and carpet, Vickers said the district is looking to use Alabaster school colors whenever possible.

“We will try to address those issues with school colors,” Vickers said. “Those do not change over time, and they don’t go out of style.”

Vickers said he is working with the Volkert company, which was hired by the Alabaster School Board several months ago to address short- and long-term issues at the city’s schools, in an attempt to complete several projects before the first day of classes.

The Alabaster School Board likely will vote on several of the projects during its next meeting, Vickers said. The board’s next meeting currently is scheduled for July 8, unless board members call a special meeting before then.