Alabaster OKs next step for new high school

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 – The Alabaster Board of Education got one step closer to breaking ground on the city’s new high school after it agreed to fund an analysis of the school’s land during a Jan. 12 meeting.

During the meeting, the School Board voted unanimously to pay the Birmingham-based Terracon company to perform a geotechnical analysis of the new high school land.

“It’s the next piece of the puzzle,” Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said during a Jan. 12 interview.

The Jan. 12 meeting came a little more than a month after the School Board voted to approve a bid from Parnell, Inc., to clear about 170 heavily wooded acres of land between Kent Dairy Road and Thompson Road to accommodate the new high school.

ACS voted in May to purchase more than 300 acres of currently vacant property between Thompson and Kent Dairy roads to house a 365,000-square-foot new high school and athletic facilities, which is slated to open in August 2017.

The school system has budgeted $84.5 million for the new high school and its athletic facilities, and is being funded using a portion of the $120 million in bonds the School Board approved in September. The high school will house at least 2,000 students, Vickers said previously.

Vickers said Parnell likely will finish clearing the timber by late February or early March, and said he is planning to announce a tentative timeline for the school’s construction during the School Board’s Feb. 9 meeting.