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Alamance County is Getting a New School

In eastern Alamance County, significant changes are underway as the community eagerly anticipates the opening of Southeast Alamance High School for the 2023-24 school year. Led by former Eastern Alamance High principal, Eric Yarbrough, the task of staffing an entire school before the August inauguration is both critical and challenging.

Designed to merge students from Eastern Alamance and Southern Alamance High Schools, Southeast Alamance High will serve as a new educational hub. Mebane students living south of the I-40/I-85 freeway corridor will be districted to the new school, while those residing north of the corridor will continue attending Eastern Alamance High School. Though the school is built to accommodate up to 1,250 students in the future, initial enrollment is projected to be lower.

The Alamance-Burlington School System’s Board of Education has granted rising seniors in the Class of 2024 the option to stay at their old high schools for their final year. This decision means that Southeast Alamance will not be operating at full capacity upon opening. Projections indicate that approximately 550 to 700 students will attend in the first year, with numbers expected to rise as each new August brings in full classes of ninth-grade students from Hawfields Middle School and Southern Alamance Middle School.

Recently, Southeast Alamance High unveiled its distinctive color scheme, a striking combination of orange and royal blue unlike any other public school in Alamance County. The school’s mascot, the Stallions, has also been revealed, adding a sense of identity and pride to the new institution. Additionally, a complex of athletic fields is currently under construction behind the school, situated on a large tract of property along N.C. Highway 119, between Hawfields Presbyterian Church and the Honda plant in Swepsonville.

Regarding athletics, Southeast Alamance High School will initially be part of the Mid-Carolina 2A Conference. This conference includes local schools such as Graham, Cummings, Yanceyville’s Bartlett Yancey High School, Pittsboro’s Seaforth High School, and Siler City’s Jordan-Matthews High School, among others. The school’s involvement in non-conference events with other neighboring schools like Carrboro High School and Pittsboro’s Northwood High School is also anticipated.

With these changes, a broader transformation of the local athletic landscape is unfolding. The Central Carolina Conference is going to experience two changes as Pittsboro’s Northwood High School departs while Southern Alamance High joins. The reconfiguration will bring a fresh dynamic to prep sports, as local 3A rivals Eastern Alamance, Western Alamance, Williams, and Southern Alamance will compete together in the same athletic conference for the first time in several years, alongside nearby rivals Orange, Cedar Ridge, and Person County.

This shift will necessitate Eastern Alamance to diversify its non-conference scheduling. Traditionally, the school regularly competed against Southern Alamance in various academic and extracurricular activities during non-conference events. However, the presence of Southeast Alamance High School nearby should alleviate some of the non-conference scheduling pressure for EAHS administrators, as the new school emerges as a friendly non-conference rival, similar to the relationships Eastern Alamance has with Graham and Cummings.

As the community embraces these developments, the unique culture of Mebane’s education system faces a period of change. Historically, Mebane has been fortunate to have a single high school representing its educational interests in Alamance County. However, with the addition of Southeast Alamance, the educational landscape will undergo significant transformation.

As we look forward to this new era in Mebane’s educational landscape, we honor the legacy of Eastern Alamance while welcoming the exciting birth of Southeast Alamance. The journey ahead promises to be different, but as the community rallies behind its students, a new chapter in local education is set to unfold