LOXLEY – Work will soon start to clear the site of Baldwin County’s new career education high school in Loxley and prepare the property for construction, school system officials said.
The Baldwin County Board of Education voted Monday, Nov. 8, to award the contract to prepare the 58.8-acre site for construction. Triptek Construction of Atmore was the lowest of three bidders with a submission of about $4.76 million.
The school will be a training facility for students preparing for careers in manufacturing, medicine and other fields when they complete high school, Superintendent of Education Eddie Tyler said. The school is scheduled to open in August 2024.
Tyler said awarding a separate contract to prepare the site will allow some work to begin while plans for the facility are being completed.
“What we have done with several of our facilities that have been built over the last couple of years is basically we go and clear the site,” Tyler said.
Frank Boatwright, system facilities and maintenance director, said the process is similar to work done on the sites of Orange Beach High School and Stonebridge Elementary School.
“What we have there is since we have a lot of timber on that property, we’ve got that removed and now we’re at the phase like we were with Orange Beach and Stonebridge with a site package,” Boatwright said. “They’ll go in and level everything, get everything up to grade, storm drainage and everything in, get ready for utilities and then the general contractor comes in and that part of the project is 210 calendar days.”
He said school officials plan to go out for bids to build the career tech center in the spring of 2022.
Tyler said the final cost of the project will not be known until the design is complete and bids are received. The Board of Education approved a $50 million bond issue to pay for the school.
Boatwright said the school will require special equipment to train students for a variety of career fields ranging from medicine to cosmetology.
Tyler said costs for equipment and materials have increased recently.
“You can’t find materials now and when you find them the cost is just astronomical,” Tyler said. “We don’t know what it’s going to come in per square foot.”
In earlier meetings on the career tech school, Tyler said the new school will help prepare students for careers with companies such as Airbus and Austal as well as hospitals and other industries that have a growing demand for workers. He said the system’s current technical training centers are not adequate to fill the growing need to prepare students for jobs in the workplace.