On Aug. 9, 2017, more than 600 Auburn High School seniors will walk through doors as the first class to graduate from the brand new, state-of-the-art educational facility. The 350,000 square foot new AHS is located at 1701 East Samford Ave. and will be open and ready for business.
“We’re proud of this amazing school and the educational opportunities it offers to our students, our faculty, our administrators and especially, our community,” says Dr. Shannon Pignato, AHS principal. This is the third new school Pignato has “birthed,” as she calls the experience.
“I had a previous principal that, when the doors opened, she would follow students with hands on hips, scrubbing every scuff mark,” says Pignato. “I’m trying very hard not to be that principal. But we’re given a very special gift.” The project began in October 2015 with Rabren Construction Company of Auburn as the lead contractors and was the result of the highest turnout in a 5-Mill Referendum that, on April 18, 2015, the citizens of Auburn approved. The referendum allocated some $72.6 million to build the school. The campus will house grades 10-12 with a capacity for 2,200 students and 1,100 parking spaces.
“This is the culmination of all the hard work everyone across the board has put in on this project over the past couple of years, making it a reality for the students of Auburn City Schools,” says Dr. Karen Delano, Auburn City Schools superintendent. “I am excited to open the doors of what is now the premier high school campus in the state of Alabama.”
Classrooms within the academic building have glass windows looking both outdoors and indoors. This is to promote an open environment for students. The school offers advanced placement academic courses as well as career tech and ROTC. Student collaborative spaces cluster at the end of each hallway where students can meet during the 65-minute period called Tiger Time. The time is used for homework, group work, tutoring, extracurricular activities, clubs and intramural sports.
Not to be left out, teachers will have their own space to use for planning period. They will have office space outside of the classroom in addition to a conference room and kitchen/lounge area. Many other features abound such as a high-tech Apple Mac computer lab for the advertising and graphic design program, as well as four self-contained special education classrooms set apart from traditional space. Of note, students with special needs have the option to remain after graduation until their 21st birthday.
A little something for everyone waits for the students at Auburn High School.
Christy Kyser Truitt
Christy Kyser Truitt was raised in West Alabama. The Auburn University graduate is an award-winning author of three novels. Christy is a feature writer and copy editor for East Alabama Living Magazine. For more information on Christy and her writing, visit www.christytruitt.com.