Alabaster BOE approves turn lanes for new high school

 

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Shelby County Highway Department will be able to move forward with adding center turn lanes on two roadways to handle traffic traveling onto Alabaster’s new high school campus after the city’s Board of Education granted the easements necessary for the projects on June 12.

School Board members voted unanimously during the meeting to grant easements on Kent Dairy Road and Thompson Road to allow the Highway Department to add the center turn lanes near the two entrances to the new school property.

“Since those are county roads, we’re working with the county on that project,” said Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers. “We’ve been really pleased with the cooperation we’ve had with the county on this.”

When the new high school opens during the Christmas break at the end of this year, it will be on a portion of 300 Board of Education-owned acres between the two roadways. The front entrance to the school campus will be off Thompson Road, while the back entrance will be off Kent Dairy Road.

The school originally was set to open to students at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, but the opening was delayed due to a delay in bidding out the first phase of the project in 2015.

When it is completed, the new school will have room for more than 2,000 students, will have 103 instructional classrooms – 21 of which will be labs – a 1,070-seat auditorium, an 85-seat theater, a 32,269-square-foot career academy and a 50-seat lecture hall.

The new school’s cafeteria will see a major upgrade from the cafeteria at the current Thompson High School, as the new lunchroom will seat about 600 students at once, up from the 400-seat capacity of the current facility. Vickers said the kitchen will be designed to handle the increased student capacity, as the kitchen at the current school was only designed to serve 800 students.