ACS funds turn lanes for new high school
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – Crews with a local construction company soon will begin work on adding turn lanes onto Kent Dairy Road and Thompson Road to handle traffic traveling into Alabaster’s new high school campus, after the city’s Board of Education approved funding for the project during a June 28 special-called meeting.
School Board members voted unanimously during the meeting to award an about $1.3 million bid to the Chilton Contractors company to add the center turn lanes onto the two roads. Alabaster City Schools is working with the Shelby County Highway Department on the project, ACS Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said previously.
Vickers said the $1.3 million bid came in lower than the school system had budgeted for the project.
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.
Aerial photography courtesy of Skybama.com.