Pelham City Schools approves purchase of 70 acres of land for future school site

Published 11:55 am Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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PELHAM – During a meeting held with the Pelham City Schools Board of Education on May 23, the board approved contracts to purchase approximately 70 acres of land for a future school site.

After nearly two years of searching for viable options, the board honed in on the area which is east of Interstate 65 and north of Highway 52 adjacent to the Pelham Racquet Club, the Pelham Senior Center and Fun Go Holler Park.

“We’ve explored several areas, but options are limited when looking for large tracts of buildable land in Pelham,” said Pelham City Schools superintendent Dr. Chuck Ledbetter in a press release from Pelham City Schools. “This land gives us the space we will need for new school facilities while offering an opportunity to incorporate existing city of Pelham facilities into a hub of city amenities.”

A similar concept exists on Pelham Park Boulevard where the middle school, library, recreation center, tennis courts and city park are all located in close proximity to each other.

Ongoing facilities planning discussions have led to a focus on the expansion of Pelham school facilities. Continued growth in the city and the school system has been on the radar of school officials for some time. A demographic study conducted in 2022 confirmed a forecast of steady growth in Pelham over the next ten years due to new housing construction and a sustained rate of in-migration of young families.

“We’re excited to live in a thriving city with continued growth in our schools,” Board President Angie Hester said. “Providing our students with top-notch facilities has always been a priority for our school system.”

Since its inception in 2014, Pelham City Schools has invested more than $80 million in facilities, including the construction of two new schools and many other facilities improvements. To properly budget and maintain fiscal stability for the school system, the timeframe for beginning construction on the new school site is approximately seven to eight years.

Work to determine if the land is a suitable school site will begin promptly. Due diligence will take place over the next 45 days.