New Alabaster high school will house 2,000 students

The Alabaster City School System is preparing to construct a new high school between Thompson Road and Fulton Springs Road. (File)

The Alabaster City School System is preparing to construct a new high school between Thompson Road and Fulton Springs Road. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – When Alabaster’s new high school opens in the next few years, it will have the capacity to house about 200 more students than are currently enrolled at the school, according to the school system’s capital building plan.

The city’s Board of Education unanimously approved its 2014-2015 capital building plan during a special-called Sept. 29 meeting, outlining the projects it expects to complete over the next few years.

“I think it’s an outstanding plan all around,” Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said during the meeting, noting the school system is looking to address the items over the next three years. “I’m very pleased that we will be able to take care of these capital items. It’s exciting that we will be able to complete our five-year plan in less than five years.”

The largest item on the plan is the city’s new 350,000 square-foot high school and athletic complex, for which the system budgeted $84.5 million. The high school will house 2,000 students, and will be built on an about 304-acre tract of land between Thompson Road and Kent Dairy Road.

During the Sept. 29 meeting, the School Board also voted unanimously to purchase an about 2.6-acre piece of land to add to the 301 acres the school system previously purchased for the new high school in May. The new school likely will open in 2017, Vickers said previously.

Also included in the capital plan was about $14 million in renovations to the current Thompson High School, which will serve as a sixth-grade center and middle school once the new high school is built.

The renovations will include upgrades to the building’s interior, roof, plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems.

The capital plan also included about $5.6 million in renovations to the current Thompson Intermediate School, about $1 million to fund roofing upgrades at multiple school buildings, $3.5 million to fund technology upgrades throughout the school district and about $500,000 to upgrade HVAC systems throughout the district.