Alabaster BOE approves prep for new high school

The site for Alabaster's new high school has been cleared off, and the city School Board approved a water line relocation on May 18 to allow construction to move forward. (Contributed/THS Junior ROTC)

The site for Alabaster’s new high school has been cleared off, and the city School Board approved a water line relocation on May 18 to allow construction to move forward. (Contributed/THS Junior ROTC)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster Board of Education is set to approve the grading package for its new high school building in June after agreeing to fund a water line relocation for the project during a May 18 meeting.

The School Board voted unanimously during the meeting to pay Bama Utility Contractors, Inc. $321,000 to relocate a city water line running through the middle of the 300-acre site of the city’s future high school.

Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said the water line currently runs through the location of the new school, and must be moved before construction can begin.

The Board of Education likely will vote to fund the grading package for the project during its June meeting, Vickers said.

In mid-April, the School Board voted unanimously to approve a $597,038 bid from W.S. Newell and Sons to complete the final clearing of the land, which removed stones and debris to make way for the building project and water line relocation for the new high school.

The Parnell timberland company finished clearing trees off the land in mid-March.

The Alabaster School Board voted in May 2014 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.

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, Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said previously.

The about 384,000-square-foot high school likely will be the second-largest in Alabama behind Enterprise High School, will include a 1,250-seat theater, three gyms including a 2,000-seat main arena, a golf practice facility, a regulation track and more.

The high school construction project likely will be bid out early this summer, and the athletic complex project likely will be bid out in late summer.

The new high school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2017.