Alabaster announces location of new high school
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
The Alabaster Board of Education is looking to build a new high school between Thompson Road and Kent Dairy Road near the Sterling Gate subdivision within the next two to three years, board members announced during a special-called May 19 meeting.
During the meeting, School Board members voted to authorize Alabaster Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers to enter into an agreement to purchase 301 acres of currently vacant land between the two roads.
The land is directly west of the current Thompson High School, and the new high school will offer access from Thompson Road and Kent Dairy Road, Vickers said during a May 19 interview.
“Out of all the locations we looked at, this was the one we thought would best serve our needs, not only immediately but also for the future,” Vickers said. “It’s a championship location for the future of our children. It’s right in the middle of the city, and folks are already used driving down Thompson Road to get to the high school.”
The School Board will pay an average of about $12,473 per acre for the property, with a total cost of between $3.6 million and $3.79 million.
The School Board is awaiting confirmation on a more than $100 million bond issue aimed at funding the city’s new high school, along with a new athletic complex and upgrades to the city’s school buildings.
On May 19, Vickers said he expected to hear confirmation on the bond issue “within the next week or two.”
The Alabaster City School System is planning to use the bond money to fund the construction of the about 360,000-square-foot new high school and athletic facilities and renovations to the current Thompson High School and Thompson Intermediate School buildings.
Vickers said the 301 acres will also provide enough room for future school buildings.
“You’ve got to look at what you need now, but also what you’ll need 10 years out,” Vickers said. “If we decide in the future that we need a new middle school or elementary school, and we’ve already got the land and access point, it will make it that much easier.”
During the meeting, School Board member Ty Quarles said the size of the land will give Alabaster control over the area surrounding the future high school.
“We control everything that goes on in that tract,” Quarles said. “That’s very forward-thinking, and the kind of thinking we need.”
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