Alabaster City Schools prepares for next school year with major renovations

Published 4:19 pm Monday, June 24, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

ALABASTER – With students and teachers out for the summer, a tremendous amount of work is being done behind-the-scenes to make sure that Alabaster schools are refreshed and ready for the 2024-2025 school year.

Alabaster City Schools currently has a number of capital projects underway to improve and expand the school system’s current facilities, including work at Creek View Elementary School, The Warrior Center at Thompson Middle School and the upcoming A.C.E.S. Alternative School.

“This is an exciting time for Alabaster City Schools,” Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said. “We’re investing in our classrooms and our schools. We have three campuses that are being worked on right now—the new restore campus that we’re working on—but also Creekview and the Warrior Center at the middle school. So, it’s a continual investment of renovations and work.”

Alabaster City School’s upcoming A.C.E.S. Alternative School will be located in the same facility as the ACS Champions Craft Academy which will be in the former Winn-Dixie/Restore building on Highway 119.

“When you look at the space that we have, this is actually a better setup, space wise, than we had in the other building,” Vickers said. “This was actually a new build but we had to redesign (it) to fit what we needed as a school for the A.C.E.S. and alternative programs.”

The A.C.E.S. Alternative School is planned to open this fall and the location will feature a large modular meeting space, training classrooms and office space.

“We’ve had that program for 11 years and so we really never needed any more space but having a new space that is designed for it instead of making it hybrid like we did before, this is going to be much better,” Vickers said. “And (students) having their own entrance (into the facility) makes me very happy. I’m very excited.”

The ACS Board of Education recently approved a bid to Modular Interior Elements for furniture at the A.C.E.S. Alternative School to aid in the school system’s efforts to prepare the facility in time for the fall season.

Renovations are also underway at the Warrior Center at Thompson Middle School after previously being approved by the BOE back in March. Renovations to the facility include new tile and paint work to modernize and match the design and color scheme of the rest of the school system.

“One thing I’ve learned over the years—this is going on my 18th year as superintendent— is if you take care of things in small pieces and small doses, no one gets so far behind (on) renovations and other things,” Vickers said. “So, you’ll see us in the next year or two having projects every summer—painting hallways or doing things like that.”

Renovations are also underway at Creek View Elementary School where the school system is completing phase one of renovations to the school’s classrooms which include new floor tile, ceiling tile, casework and paint to classrooms on the 100 and 200 halls. According to Vickers, after all of the work on the classrooms is done, it will be a “big transformation.”

“It’s definitely a need,” Principal Charissa Cole said. “Our school is 30 years old and I love that Dr. Vickers and the board want excellence in everything. And our teachers are excited to have updates just like the new high school. I think they want everything to be equitable (and) I think that is huge for our school system, for our parents, students and teachers.”

The new classroom renovations are the latest in a series of improvements to CVES which has previously seen a variety of work, including a new roof, restroom renovations, improvements to hallways and common areas, lunch room improvements and media center renovations.

Additionally, the ACS Board of Education approved the purchase of new furniture for CVES in the amount of $126,000 during the board’s monthly meeting in May.

“We’re very excited about the new furniture,” Cole said. “Right now, it’s kind of piecemealed with different colors, so having school colors with the furniture will be very beneficial as well.”

A second wave of renovations to Creek View Elementary School will be completed summer 2025 on its 300 and 400 hallway classrooms and will mark the completion of both phases of the project.

Contractors are continuing to work on renovations as the schools system readies to have everything ready for teachers to move into their classrooms and for students to return for the next school year on Thursday, Aug. 8.