UPDATE (9/21) — The Baldwin County School Board has approved the building of a new middle school in Orange Beach.
BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG)- Members of the Gulf Shores community are upset with Baldwin County School Superintendent Eddie Tyler’s decision to open a new Orange Beach Middle School and possibly change the “phase 3” renovation plans to schools in Gulf Shores.
The school district’s board is set to vote on the proposed plans on Thursday at 4:30pm.
The mayor of Gulf Shores, Robert Craft, issued this statement Wednesday night; ““Baldwin County Schools Superintendent Eddie Tyler’s announcement that he will be recommending approval of a significantly altered capital improvement plan for the Gulf Shores High School Feeder Pattern on Thursday, September 21 was an unexpected surprise to me and the members of our City Council. I was first notified of this altered plan through an email from Mr. Tyler on Tuesday, September 19 at 2:23 p.m. Mr. Tyler and I have always maintained very open dialogue in his time as Superintendent. The complete absence of communication while this plan was being engineered is perplexing. Approximately 75% of the children attending schools within our feeder pattern live in Gulf Shores. While I am encouraged that the Baldwin County Board of Education now has $15 million available to invest in our feeder pattern, their neglect to incorporate any input or involvement from our community into the development of a plan of this magnitude is extremely disappointing.”
While the school district did not immediately comment on the matter, it told News 5 it plans to combine Gulf Shores Middle and Elementary Schools to make the campus one giant elementary school.
Then all 7th and 8th grade students in both Orange Beach and Gulf Shores would attend the new Orange Beach Middle School on Canal Road when it opens in August 2019.
The district says it also hopes to phase out the portable classrooms at Gulf Shores Elementary School as renovations wrap up. This may include temporarily installing portable buildings with restrooms in them until all construction is completed.
A district representative also tells News 5 that the original idea for an Orange Beach Middle School came from the Mayor of Gulf Shores.