Saraland High School may be less than a decade old since it split with Mobile County Public Schools in the late 2000s, but its youth isn’t stopping it from expanding.
A new wing will be unveiled today that focuses on providing students with career skills like welding and engineering. Around 4 p.m., local officials including Rep. Bradley Byrne will join school officials to cut the ribbon on the new facility.
The addition was made possible by a tax referendum that was approved two years ago. The school system also received grant money for a welding simulator that gives students practical experience before they try their hand on the real deal.
And the school has the real deal, too — stepping into the new welding room feels just like stepping into a warehouse at a welding facility.
Students will be trained in the new classrooms and on the simulator before they master the machines.
In addition to welding, Principal Beverly Spondike said the demand for the new engineering classes was double what was initially expected.
They’re now offering two sections.
“The engineering and welding is going to open the doors for so many, and the partnership that we are going to be able to have with the community and the industry and the surrounding industry is huge also, to be able to have those people come in as guest speakers and speak to our students and let them know what their opportunities are going to be, that’s huge,” said Spondike.
Superintendent Aaron Milner says the success the school previously had with their health sciences program makes the new addition even more exciting.
“Our health science program last year, we have one student that’s going to uab who will enter the medical field as a doctor, go to med school, we have another student that’s going to work right off the bat as a nursing assistant,” said Milner.
For him, he says the feeling of knowing students will leave the classroom and be prepared for the workforce or for their college classes is invaluable.
“There’s no greater reward for an educator than to see a student lead a productive life as a result of the commitment from their community and public school system,” said Milner.
All students, whether career-focused or college-bound, are eligible to take any of the classes.
In addition to the engineering and welding options, they’ve also opened a new AP statistics class and debuted two more science classrooms.
Students start the next school year in just a couple of weeks.