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ACS purchases $1 million in technology for new school

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Alabaster’s new high school will be outfitted with everything from interactive panels in classrooms to digital message boards in the hallways after the city’s Board of Education agreed to make $1 million in technology purchases during a July 19 meeting.

“It will be one of the most state-of-the-art high schools in the state,” said ACS Technology Coordinator Anthony Kingston.

As a result of the vote, the school system will purchase 110 classroom 70-inch interactive panels, eight 60-inch interactive classroom panels, two 40-inch interactive classroom panels, 13 interactive classroom projectors, 20 digital message boards for the school’s hallways, 31 60-inch televisions, 15 Windows laptop computers with a mobile cart for the school’s media center, 15 Apple MacBooks with a mobile cart for the school’s media center, one 3D printer for the school’s media center and more.

Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said the new technology will allow the school system to implement more “Project Lead the Way” activities at the new high school.

“Our goal is to provide the best technology for our students and teachers that we can provide,” Vickers said. “This will change everything.”

“It’s exciting to be able to provide this for our students,” said School Board President Adam Moseley.

The new high school is set to open to students for the second semester of the 2017-2018 school year, the project’s construction manager told School Board members during the July 19 meeting.

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.

“The bottom line is we have 100 percent commitments from the contractors to be done in December,” Barkan said. “They are very committed to having it done by then.”

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.

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