PCS plans for roughly $50 million system-wide building project

PCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield outlined a roughly $50 million system-wide building project during a Dec. 8 Board of Education meeting. (File)

PCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield outlined a roughly $50 million system-wide building project during a Dec. 8 Board of Education meeting. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Pelham City Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield outlined a roughly $50 million building plan for Pelham City Schools during a Dec. 8 Board of Education meeting. The plan calls for construction of a new middle school in addition to the already-approved new elementary school.

Two kindergarten through fifth grade schools will be created, replacing the current kindergarten through second grade elementary school and third through fifth grade intermediate school.

Applegate Elementary School will be constructed on a property located on Applegate Parkway, off of Shelby County 52, east of the tank farm. The second elementary school will be housed in the current Valley Intermediate School building.

A new middle school, named Pelham Park, will be constructed on land in Pelham City Park, “where the blue building is as you’re going into the park,” Pelham City Council President Rick Hayes said of the location.

The proposed location is adjacent to Belle Vista Mobile Home Park, and Hayes confirmed it is not in the floodplain. The current Riverchase Middle School building will be sold, Coefield said.

Finally, Coefield outlined a three-year plan for Pelham High School, calling for roughly $10 million in renovations to the existing building to enhance the safety, upgrade facilities and create a school to house the academies PCS plans to add to the curriculum.

“We’re expecting to spend $10 million at PHS to renovate that building,” Coefield said. “These are not cosmetic changes, these are real changes where you walk in and you see all these academies. I think you’re going to be, three years from now, very pleased.”

A timeline for the construction was also described during the Dec. 8 meeting.

According to the plan, the two new elementary schools would be ready to open for the 2016-2017 school year. Construction on Pelham Park Middle School should be complete and ready for students by the 2017-2018 academic year. The three-year plan for Pelham High School will also be complete by the 2017-2018 academic year.

“I think the goal here is to have great schools throughout Pelham,” Coefield said. “We’re committed to that.”

Coefield said taxes would not have to be raised to fund the roughly $50 million in construction for the schools.

“I am pretty confident it can be done (with the funds available),” Coefield said. “We’ve got the revenue, it’s about how we manage it.”