Auburn Mayor Ron Anders addresses K-12 education, quality of life as reasons for explosive population growth
AUBURN — Next year, Auburn High School will be 100 students shy of being the largest high school in Alabama, just behind Hoover High School, according to Mayor Ron Anders.
The growth of Auburn High School’s student population is a signal that the city of Auburn over the past decade has evolved from more than just a college town, home to Auburn University, to one of Alabama’s most thriving communities. Anders, who was sworn into office just over a year ago, acknowledges a big part of that is a result of its K-12 education. The Auburn City School System has consistently rated among Alabama’s best school systems, which has made it a bedroom community for those working as far away as Montgomery.
During a recent interview with Huntsville radio’s WVNN, Anders said he would prefer that people choose to reside in Auburn because of the qualities of his city and not because of the failings of other communities but acknowledged it is a factor.
“That is going on,” Anders said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “It goes on a lot. There’s no question about it. Look, I would rather every community in and around Auburn be great communities. We don’t want people to leave somewhere because they’re not happy and come here. We would rather people come to Auburn because it is what they think is the best place, offers the best things for them. But that is a factor. There’s no question about it. People have lost confidence in some of the things in some of their communities, and they want to live here.”
“Look, by and large, Auburn is a cool place to live,” he continued. “The college provides a quality of life that you don’t get in most communities of our population size because there are things going on here that are different, unique, and they really represent a metropolitan area.”
Anders pointed to the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center at Auburn University, in which the city had also invested $1.5 million to improve the quality of life for his city’s residents.