Alabaster schools declare independence

Published 11:12 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Alabaster City School System celebrated its first day of operations on July 1. (File)

The Alabaster City School System celebrated its first day of operations on July 1. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

For the Alabaster City School System, Independence Day came a few days early this year.

“This is Independence Day for Alabaster City Schools,” Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers told the Alabaster City Council July 1 on his first day on the job. “Greetings from the newest school system in the state.

“Everyone needs to take heed across the state that we are official,” Vickers added.

July 1 marked the first full day of operations for Alabaster City Schools after the city finalized its split with the Shelby County School System.

The upstart school system kicked off its birthday by beginning several renovation and landscaping projects at the city’s six school campuses.

On June 27, the Alabaster School Board approved more than $180,000 in projects at the city’s schools ranging from replacing floor tiles in the Thompson High School lobby to repairing sinks and stalls in school bathrooms.

All school campuses also will receive plumbing maintenance and a “deep-cleaning.” Crews will work to have all projects completed by the first day of classes in August.

“It’s going to be a very noticeable change,” said Alabaster School Board President Adam Moseley.

Vickers, the former superintendent of Saraland City Schools, said he and his family are preparing to move to Alabaster this week.

“We will have a junior at the high school and a seventh-grader at the middle school. So to use an Auburn phrase, we are all in,” Vickers said.

Ward 4 Councilman Rick Walters said July 1 marked the end of a nearly eight-year process since the city began considering its own school district.

“Happy birthday to the Alabaster School System,” Walters said. “Good things come to those who wait.”

Ward 2 Councilman Bob Hicks said he was “tickled pink” with the new school system, and said he looks forward to the system’s future.

“I think we’ve got a rocket that will take us above the sky,” Hicks said.

Council President Scott Brakefield pledged the city’s support for Alabaster City Schools.

“The city will continue to thrive or die on the vine with the success or failure of this school system,” Brakefield said.

“We will not fail, I promise you that,” Vickers responded. “We will be in the top 10 (in the state). That’s why I wanted to be a part of it.”