The process of shifting zoning boundaries for Auburn City Schools received the green light from the Board of Education at its meeting this week.

The school system will hire Cooperative Strategies Proposal, a consulting firm that worked with ACS in 2014 to develop its Facilities Plan 2024, to assist with planning, data analysis, Geographical Information System mapping and the development of multiple rezoning options for the board to consider.

ACS Superintendent Dr. Karen DeLano said a contract would be signed with Cooperative Strategies as soon as possible and the first wave of meetings would be set up between school administration and Cooperative Strategies president Tracey Richter. The contract for services will cost ACS about $30,000.

"They will meet with us in the Central Office and gather info on our concerns as far as needing to change some boundaries for our school zones," DeLano said. "They will take that information and gather lots of data, as they did when they helped us earlier when we were looking at the new high school project, and will continue to look at our demographics."

DeLano said she expects to have recommendations to the board in January 2018 so that families can appropriately plan for he new school year.

Public meetings will be held as part of the rezoning process and are likely to take place in the fall. 

The new school zones will be in place just as the new elementary school is opening off Richland Road. Ground will be broken on the school in June, and a committee will soon begin meeting to discuss a name for the school.

A second new elementary school is slated to open in 2021, according to the Facilities Plan 2024, and will operate as a sister school to Yarbrough Elementary. Until that time, Yarbrough will operate as a kindergarten through fifth-grade school. 

Also at its meeting this week, the Board of Education approved the low bid for new roofing on Wrights Mill Elementary School. Standard Roofing Co. Inc. had the lowest bid at $240,021.

Only the two original wings of the school will be re-roofed, and work is expected to begin at the end of May and be completed before school starts in August.

The school board also approved the third change order for the new Auburn High School project. The change order includes additions that total about $200,000 and include hoisted theater lighting for the performing arts center, fencing along the property line near University Drive and some signage and electrical work.

Completing these additions adds two weeks to the project, pushing the completion date from April 28 to May 12.

"(The change order) is mostly items that were value-adds to the project, and you're still well within budget, both in dollars and time," said Ken Upchurch, managing principal of TCU Consulting Services, to the board during a work session earlier this month.

Once the new high school is complete, a ribbon cutting will be held to introduce the new high school to the community.

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