Tuscaloosa Academy makes upgrades to security, look of school

Tuscaloosa Academy made numerous upgrades to the school's security over the summer.
Tuscaloosa Academy made numerous upgrades to the school's security over the summer.(WBRC)
Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 8:00 AM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Students returned to class at one Tuscaloosa school this month and saw big changes in their school.

Administrators at Tuscaloosa Academy spent a lot of time planning changes which started once Spring classes ended for summer break.

The private school located in the city of Tuscaloosa now has more security measures on campus than ever before, including resource officers on campus. They also trimmed down the number of ways folks could enter the building and second electronic door was built into the front entrance to add another layer of security.

Multiple security cameras were installed inside the building and flock cameras were placed in the parking lot.

“The second thing that our students and families in particular are noting is the security enhancements we’ve made,” said Beckie Share, Head of School at Tuscaloosa Academy. “As you know the school shootings across the country have challenged all school leaders to really look at our campuses and how we can increase security and keep our people safe.”

Administrators strategized with Tuscaloosa Police and County Sheriff’s deputies to close security gaps.

In addition to the security upgrades, administrators also wanted to foster creativity and brighten the building.

Lockers were removed from the hallways and replaced with modernized learning spaces. There’s also new flooring throughout the building and most of the walls and classrooms were repainted.

A school fundraising campaign raised more than $719,000. Share says most of that money went towards upgrading campus facilities and operations.

Other changes include:

  • A Fresh and Vibrant Atmosphere: New flooring, and a fresh coat of paint that extends from the exterior of the building into the hallways.
  • Modernized Learning Spaces: Classrooms in the Lower School are equipped with upgraded furniture, supporting all types of learners. These improvements are designed to foster creativity, engagement, and collaboration among students, providing them with an inviting and stimulating environment that supports their educational journey.
  • Upgraded Bathrooms: Tuscaloosa Academy prioritizes cleanliness and student wellbeing, and this extends to the bathroom facilities. The front main bathrooms were demolished and remodeled, ensuring not only enhanced aesthetics but also upgraded functionality and hygiene standards.
  • Heightened Safety Measures: The safety of students, faculty and staff remains a top priority. As part of the renovations and changes, Tuscaloosa Academy has implemented an array of advanced safety features, including improved access control systems and security doors; enhanced security camera coverage, including a Flock camera system; and increased presence of an armed Tuscaloosa Sheriff Deputy.
  • Upgraded and Expanded Weight Room: Athletics and physical well-being are an integral part of the experience at Tuscaloosa Academy. The introduction of state-of-the-art weight room equipment supports the school’s transition to a competitive association, the Alabama High School Athletic Association (ASHAA).

Tuscaloosa Academy opened in 1967. It currently has 465 students in Pre-K through the 12th grade.

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