Demolition Begins at Skyland Elementary School

From The Tuscaloosa News

By Drew Taylor Staff Writer

Work on Skyland Elementary reached a crucial stage as a majority of the school is in the process of being torn down.

Construction crews have been tearing down about 60 percent of the school and rebuilding in a major renovation effort. The school, which was first built in 1961, is one of several schools undergoing renovations as part of Tuscaloosa City Schools’ strategic plan.

All that will remain of the building will be eight classrooms and a multipurpose room, which was constructed sometime in the 2000s. When the project is completed, the school will cover about 66,500 square feet, as opposed to the 60,000 square feet the school covered beforehand. The additional space will account for larger classrooms and more space for other purposes, such as a media library and special education classrooms.

“The building was really out of date,” said Jeff Johnson, executive director of facilities for TCS. “We didn’t have any art rooms, music rooms or a special education room.”

The school will hold more than 300 students. Johnson said that with the renovations, the school system will begin construction sometime in June and plan to be complete before fall 2018.

Renovations to the schools will cost more than $9.8 million. Since the beginning of the school year, students at Skyland Elementary have been attending classes at Southview Middle School.

There are several other schools that are being renovated across the city system. The school system has put $7.2 million into renovating Central Elementary School and $6.4 million will be used to renovate Oakdale Elementary.

Other construction projects that will come up over the next year or so include a new $17.2 million school to include students from both Arcadia Elementary and Northington Elementary. The main building at Southview Middle will also become Southview Elementary at a later time.