At a Feb. 25 Vestavia Hills Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Todd Freeman announced several changes to the school system’s capital projects timeline. Most notably, the Pizitz Middle School campus will not be opening as the Vestavia Hills High School Freshman Campus for the 2019-2020 year.
The timeline change is due to delays in construction projects at the Berry campus, which was previously projected to open as the new Pizitz Middle School location at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.
“The project has faced challenges because of three major factors: the unpredictable changes in a renovation of this size, our decision to replace the roof instead of patching and above average rainfall,” said Superintendent Todd Freeman, in a video message.
Rainfall has been the biggest obstacle, Freeman noted, as the Birmingham area has received more than 10 inches above the average rainfall over the last 90 days.
Students in sixth through eighth grades zoned for Pizitz will begin the new school year on the existing campus. Freshmen will remain at Vestavia Hills High School for the entire 2019-2020 school year.
Freeman stated that he expects to make a decision in the coming months regarding when the Berry campus will open. The existing Pizitz campus is projected to open to VHHS freshmen in August of 2020.
The timeline for Vestavia Hills Dolly Ridge, East and West elementary schools will remain the same, opening to K-5 students in August of 2019.
Renovations of the Dolly Ridge campus will include a classroom addition, the addition of 175 parking spots, an expanded carpool line and a new playground.
“We are excited about Dolly Ridge and anticipate the completion of the new classroom addition in late July,” Freeman said. “We do have a contingency plan to utilize all available space in the existing buildings on the campus should the new addition not be completed when school begins.”
– Emily Williams