Homewood, Ala. (WBRC) - Students heading back to school at Homewood High won’t have to worry about construction. Administrators say although work is still being done to put the finishing touches on flooring and painting, workers will be out of the way by the time students arrive Monday.
Kevin Maddox, Asst. Superintendent of Homewood City Schools says students can expect “a phenomenal space” in the cafeteria, more than double the size of the old space.
The media center and library was also renovated, with new seating and charging stations for students’ convenience.
Some of the most exciting new equipment is in the newly configured science Pod. Science labs are high tech with remote controlled adjustable tables and more.
But outside is a different story,
“We have a 108,000 square foot addition going on that will continue through the next year and that is on scheduled to be completed in June 2020,” Maddox says.
When all the dirt and heavy equipment is moved away, the back of the school will become the entrance; visible from Lakeshore Drive across from Samford University.
There will be a new fine arts wing to house the state’s largest high school marching band under one roof for the first time, a new athletic wing and 24 new classrooms.
Here's a rendering of how the school will look once the work is complete.
Dr. Maddox says all of this became possible after voters approved a new one cent sales tax and says the renovations are the best use of the money to accommodate a boom in enrollment.
“It was more feasible to add an addition which we did and to do some interior renovations . We also were able to do some work at our other elementary schools and do some expansions and our middle school,” He says. “We are able to do this for about 61-million dollars and it would have been well over 100-million to do all of the things we wanted to do.”
Homewood has been growing. All the new construction in neighborhoods shows families with children are moving in.
The population at the high school?, “Oh Gosh, over 1250 maybe more its growing,” said Maddox.
“But the largest classes are coming. They are not here at the high school level yet. They are in middle school. The biggest class we’ve ever had in Homewood are in grades six, seven, and eight,” Maddox further explained. “We have typically graduated around 250. We are well over 300, 350, 360 in some of those grades it’s more than we’ve ever had and it’s also so exciting.”
“It’s also so exciting to see what’s happening here. Home values are increasing because of it . People are willing to pay the high prices for housing to have their kids come here to great school system and a great community.”