First day of school jitters for Baldwin County schools

(WPMI) First day of school jitters for Baldwin County schools
(WPMI) First day of school jitters for Baldwin County schools

It's back to school for hundreds of students in Baldwin County.

The first day of school is Wednesday, August 14, and the growth in the county is hitting record highs with several new schools set to open. However, not all the new schools will be ready on the first day.

New schools in Baldwin County include Bay Minette Elementary, Elberta High School and a modular village in Orange Beach, now known as "Mako Village."

These modular buildings are the start of something big in Orange Beach.

"There is no playbook when you are starting a brand new school from the ground up that’s never existed. You get to create your own culture," said Orange Beach High School Principal Dr. Erika McCoy.

Principals McCoy and Robbie Smith will share Mako Village with 272 students for one school year until the new $16 million Orange Beach Middle and High schools are completed.

On the first day there will be traffic headaches, but the hope is to ease everyone's pain on Canal Road.

"Elementary and Middle will drop off together and those patterns are available on our Facebook and website. The high school comes in off Canal, off Walker Street and down the side of the high school so we ask for patience, number one," said Orange Beach Middle School Principal Dr. Robbie Smith.

Security on this separated campus will boast three school resource officers, the same security as a brick and mortar, and tight transportation.

"Baldwin County has provided us a shuttle driver, so we will have a bus that will shuttle students from one facility to the other and that makes a huge difference because we are transporting students between these buildings," said McCoy.

Other new schools in Bay Minette and Elberta won’t be ready for the first day. The hope is to move students and staff into the facilities by the second week in September. Families in Elberta say it’s worth the wait.

"We thought we were going to have to go Pensacola, to a school over there, but we got lucky and my daughter is starting 9th grade so it’s great," said parent Monica Collier.

Baldwin County school officials say they expect a record enrollment this school year. Over the past several years the student population has grown by an average of 800 students each year.