Alabaster BOE approves improvements to former Restore building for future programs

Published 2:29 pm Monday, April 15, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor 

ALABASTER – The Alabaster City Schools Board of Education approved the next step in the construction of its upcoming ACS Champions Craft Academy during a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, April 8.

The ACS Board of Education approved a construction contract for exterior wall repairs/seal project in the amount of $88,000 and a re-roof project at the cost of $378,800 for the new ACS Champion Craft Academy which will be located in the former Restore building in Alabaster.

“I’m just excited,” ACS Superintendent Wayne Vickers said. “The Restore property was just such a great opportunity for us to accelerate our plans for the craft (academy).”

The ACS Champions Craft Academy will serve as a new, state-of-the-art workforce development facility that will provide in-demand, lucrative career pathways for students in Alabaster City Schools.

The program will be housed in the former Winn-Dixie/Restore building on Highway 119 which was acquired by the school system for $1.96 million dollars. The location will provide 48,000 square feet of space to work with which adds up to $41 per square foot as compared to the $400 a square foot it would cost to have built the facility from scratch.

“Being able to get that building at the price we did, we’re actually able to move forward much quicker than before,” Vickers said.

The school system currently plans to see the work on the craft academy completed in time for the fall semester of 2025. Building Construction, HVAC, Welding and Mechatronics—formerly known as Industrial Maintenance—will form the first set of career academies slated to be housed in the new ACS Champions Craft Academy.

Currently, the school system transports its skilled trades students to Birmingham’s Academy for Craft Training which is a 45 minute one-way bus ride. Alabaster’s newest educational facility will negate the need for this travel and shorten the trip to roughly seven minutes. The removal of the commute time will free up students’ school schedules for additional electives and extracurricular activities.

“Sometimes you open doors and sometimes you create doors,” Vickers said. “This is the board allowing us to create a door and opportunity for students right here in our city.”

During the Alabaster BOE meeting, the board also approved interior renovations in the amount of $379,200 to the Restore building for the area which will house the school system’s ACES/Alternative School program which is planned for this fall.

In other news, the ACS Board of Education approved the following items on the agenda:

  • Out-of-state field trip requests
  • Classroom digital platform renewal
  • English language arts grades 6-12 textbook gap package
  • Improvements to the entrance of Thompson High School
  • Chromebook lease final payment
  • Interactive panel purchase
  • inventory deletions request
  • Financial statements
  • Personnel actions

The next Alabaster City Schools BOE meeting is planned for Monday, May 13 at 5 pm. at Alabaster City Hall.