BAY MINETTE, Alabama — What a glorious day for Bay Minette Elementary School. The official ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday, Oct. 18 at the new school campus.
Principal Laura Moorer, Superintendent Eddie Tyler and Mayor Bob Wills all praised the faculty, community and those who had a hand in the construction of the new school.
“This is a very, very special day for all of the Bay Minette Elementary School family,” Moorer said, “and for those who have been here a lot longer than I have, it’s been a long time coming. A lot of people have worked long and hard to make this happen.”
The new school includes 104,800 square feet of new construction, 4,800 square feet of gym renovation, a total of 109,600 square feet for a total community investment of $17.4 community investment.
“Bay Minette Elementary started as a one-room schoolhouse and we’ve come this far through the efforts and support of the entire North Baldwin community,” Tyler said. “I want to commend all of those who were able to accomplish this in 14 months. Great things are happening in North Baldwin.”
The school includes 49 classrooms, six special needs classrooms, a cafeteria with a stage and dining seating for 384, an enclosed connector to the existing gym, chorus room, band room with storage, media center with collaborative seating, a two-lane car rider drop off and pick up; special needs and pre-K drop off at the front of the school, three new parking areas with 234 total spaces; an SRO office incorporated into the front of the school; security camper and exterior door position technology incorporated into the entire campus.
“This is a state-of-the-art facility and I cannot stress enough that this is 100 percent debt free,” Tyler said. “There is no long-term bond and no tax increase that paid for this, and there’s more to come.”
Among those recognized included Adams Stewart Architects, Bayshore Construction Inc. of Bay Minette and Frank Boatright with Baldwin County Public Schools.
Two of the partners in the architectural firm – Todd Stewart and Jason Shipp – are graduates of Baldwin County High School. Bayshore Construction is run by the Redmon family of Bay Minette and all three sons – Jeffrey, Jason and Jeremy – are graduates of BCHS. Jason and Jeffrey Redmon oversaw the construction of BMES. Frank Boatright, also a BCHS graduate, serves as the facility manager for the Baldwin County Public Schools. He worked closely with both groups to develop the design and construction plan for the new BMES.
“I want you students to see this as example that if you set your mind to it and work hard enough, you can achieve anything,” Wills said.
The construction is part of the Baldwin County Public School's "Pay As You Go" capital construction plan with no long-term bonds and no new taxes.
Special thanks is extended to the Baldwin County School Board and all those who worked so hard to make this dream a reality for Bay Minette.
Following the ceremony, a special dedication was held to name the student car drop-off line Wilson Way, in honor of longtime drop-off line volunteer Larry Wilson.
“He volunteered his time for many years for the love of the students,” Moorer said. “I know this is not something you can take with you, but it will be here for many years to come in honor of your dedication to this school and its students.”
Onlooker co-editor John Underwood contributed to this report.