Baldwin Preparatory Academy to train hundreds of students annually to work in trades

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 4:33 PM CDT
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LOXLEY, Ala. (WALA) - Thursday was a big day for Baldwin County Public Schools. A groundbreaking ceremony was held August 18, 2022 for the new Baldwin Preparatory Academy in Loxley. Once completed, up to 800 students per year will have access to accredited technical and professional skills training through the program. Students graduating from the academy will be poised to earn a great living right out of high school.

Morning storms weren’t going to dampen spirits or delay progress on Baldwin County Schools’ new crown jewel. Under a pavilion filled with educators, elected officials and other stakeholders, a ceremonial groundbreaking marked the beginning of something great.

Morning storms forced the ceremonial groundbreaking for Baldwin Preparatory Academy indoors
Morning storms forced the ceremonial groundbreaking for Baldwin Preparatory Academy indoors(Hal Scheurich)

“It’s providing something better for students who graduate from our high schools who have no intention of going to college, but they see an avenue through this Baldwin Preparatory Academy for a means to a very productive and worthwhile life,” explained Baldwin County Schools superintendent, Eddie Tyler.

The Baldwin County School Board has set an ambitious goal of completing Baldwin Preparatory Academy by the fall of 2024 and begin accepting students. Those students’ interests could range from allied health sciences to welding, pipefitting and other industrial and construction-related fields.

Local developer, Nathan Cox with 68 Ventures sees tremendous opportunity for young people to learn valuable skills and earn a great living right here at home.

“Having a school like this that can create that pipeline to give companies like ours that are in the construction and development type industries the ability to grow,” Cox said. You know, right now we’re all constrained, not from opportunity but rather, how do you actually get the stuff done?”

It’s taken several years of planning and strategy to bring the project to this point. The 59-acre parcel was donated by several local families making up Loxley Triangle, LLC and the build is estimated to cost about $76-million dollars. Economic experts think the return on investment will be beyond measure.

“This school will have economic impact on our local community by retaining that workforce here, by partnering with business and industry to fill those positions,” said Director of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, Lee Lawson.

Baldwin Preparatory Academy will be open to sophomores, juniors and seniors who quality and continue to meet certain enrollment standards. County officials said the academy plans played a big role in landing Novelis at the Baldwin County Mega Site. It gave them the assurance there would be a local, skilled workforce.


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