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Crews are working to demolish the north building of Gardendale High School. A portion of the partially-demolished building is seen here through a temporary chain-link fence.

By Melanie Patterson

The North Jefferson News




Much of Gardendale High School is in piles of rubble this week as crews are working to demolish the building.

The north building of the school is being town down to make space for a brand-new facility.

Gardendale is one of several Jefferson County schools that will be rebuilt with 1-cent tax money that was collected by the county in 1995.

The money was distributed to several school systems in the county, with the Jefferson County Board of Education’s portion being about $400 million.

Three of the new county high schools to be built by the board of education are in the northern Jefferson County area: Gardendale, Mortimer Jordan and Corner.

At a Jefferson County Board of Education meeting in June, the board awarded the Gardendale High School demolition contract to Maloney Construction for $260,500.

The board also approved an add-on of $55,000 to build a temporary 160-space parking lot for students behind the auto tech building, bringing the total bid to $315,500.

Crews have built a chain-link fence around the property that is being demolished, ensuring safety when classes resume on Aug. 9.

Officials with the board of education have said the demolition of the north building should take about four weeks.

Gardendale High School will be built in phases. The first phase will be built where the north building is currently being town down.

During the construction of the first phase, students will have class at the Rogers Building and in 22 portable trailers that are set up next to the Rogers building.

Gardendale High School principal Dr. Anna Vacca said that all of the teachers are settled into their new classrooms.

While she and assistant principals have created an emergency plan that includes tornado and fire drills, Vacca said there will still be issues to deal with as students and faculty adjust to their new learning environment this fall.

“We just have to roll with the punches,” she said.

Vacca said that a public meeting is scheduled for Aug. 7 regarding parking and other issues dealing with construction at the school.

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