A rendering of the new school planned for Orange Beach, Alabama.By John Mullen

December 13, 2018 – Orange Beach, AL (OBA®) – As parents split into groups of those with high school students and those with middle school students each group ended up with the same first topic of discussion.

The parents gathered at the Orange Beach Community Center on Dec. 12 to ask questions and raise concerns about the new school Baldwin County is building on Canal Road. At the top of the list for both groups was athletics.

“There’s always questions about athletics, how will my child play,” Norma Lynch, the coastal representative on the Baldwin County Board of Education, said. “Until we get the kids and found out what their interests are and what teams they can field that’s something we really can’t answer.”

Several parents expressed concerns about athletics and academics as well as campus security. But they didn’t necessarily show up in droves at the meeting hosted by the city and the Baldwin County Education Coalition.

“We were sure hoping there’d be a lot more parents here tonight,” Mayor Tony Kennon said. “This is very disappointing to be quite honest with you.”

Baldwin County first hoped to open the school in the later part of 2019 but only got one bid from interested contractors. And it was about $20 million over what the county was expecting to pay. In November the board found a more palatable bid from Sharp, Inc., for $26 million with a completion date set for August of 2020.