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Old Grissom High School construction starts

Crews are working to convert the old Grissom High School into a new community complex.

Posted: Oct. 1, 2018 12:15 PM
Updated: Oct. 2, 2018 3:39 AM

Construction is underway at the old Grissom High School on Bailey Cove Road in Huntsville, as crews work to convert the building into the new Sandra Moon Community Complex.

Crews will tear down half of the building in order to build a new 40,000 square foot public library, which is one of three new parts. There will also be a section for performances, acting and fine arts along with a gym and sports facility that will be run by Parks and Recreation.

The total cost of the project is $20 million dollars, according to a city spokesperson. WAAY 31 learned the library will be funded by $2 million from the city, $2 million from Madison county and $6 million from fundraising. The funding for Phase 1 and 2 is allocated in the 1990 Capital Improvement Plan, according to city officials. 

The new facility is named after Sandra Moon, who was Huntsville's first female City Council president. She served on the council from 1998 to 2010.

Project Manager with Garber Construction, Jerry Holland, said there was some preparation to make sure the campus was safe and ready for the first phase of construction.

"We have to disconnect the water, the gas, the electric and make the complex safe. We have our plumbers about to pull on the job site, turning loose the water and the sewer for the buildings," Holland said.

Holland said the gymnasium, the auditorium, the kitchen facilities and the cafeteria are the only items that will remain from the school.

Arts Huntsville will manage the new performing arts center. Executive Director for Arts Huntsville, Allison Dillon-Jauken, said the space is much needed.

"The beauty of it is the theatre doesn't need tremendous renovations, what we're able to do is look at the rehearsal facilities, and adapt them so that many of our local arts groups who desperately need office space or rehearsal space can have a new home," Dillon-Jauken said.

Fundraising is still currently underway for the library. The city has committed to give $10 million for the rest of the renovations.

Phase 1 should be finishing up by July of 2019.

Phase 2 will start design before the end of this year. 

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