Several milestones happened on Friday for the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering that's coming to Huntsville.
The Bevill Center on the University of Alabama in Huntsville's campus will be the temporary home of the magnet school. We also learned who the president will be, and where the permanent site will be.
A spokesperson for UAH said the Bevill Center has room for 100 students, complete with a dining hall, library, classrooms and gym. It's all at no cost to students.
“Some of the programs we offer are cyber security. I mean we have one of the top cyber security programs in the nation in some ways,” said Ray Garner, UAH chief of staff.
Ray Garner said it just made sense to offer up temporary space for the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering. The university has plans for dual enrollment for future students.
“We hope we can supplement their education from the university’s perspective in an addition to what they’re going to be learning as 10th and 11th graders in the school,” said Garner.
The magnet program will be the first of its kind and will be free to students from across the state who will live on campus. Right now, the school is scheduled to open in August of 2020 for 10th and 11th graders.
The new president, announced on Friday, is a familiar face.
“The opportunity to get to almost build a school from scratch is any educator’s dream come true. To get to do one of this magnitude and of this importance is just an incredible opportunity,” said Madison County School System Superintendent Matt Massey, now turned president of the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering.
Matt Massey has been the superintendent of Madison County Schools for more than four years. He said he was notified just minutes before Friday's announcement.
Massey will officially resign on July 14th, and start his new job the next day.
“There’s an old additive, I think biblical, that everything comes in threes,” said Joe Newberry, President and CEO of Redstone Federal Credit Union.
The final and third announcement was that Redstone Federal Credit Union gave the school its largest donation to date of $3 million.
The credit union's president says the money will be used to build the permanent school at Cummings Research Park and called it a gift that will not just benefit Alabama.
“This is one of the biggest things we’ve ever done in the state, in my opinion, and for the nation,” said Newberry.
The goal is to have the permanent school, with dorms, open in 2022. This week, Huntsville City Council voted to spend $2 million on the land and donate it to the school.