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Former Ensley High School set to be demolished

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 10:42 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A touching moment as a group of Ensley High School alumni gathered to say goodbye to their old stomping ground over the weekend.

One member even dressed in his old band uniform and played his trumpet while they sang the school song.

The alumni joined together at the site because the school is set to be demolished. An alumni member said the plan to redevelop the old school was bittersweet.

“I’m a 1974 graduate of Ensley High School,” Mary Mallory said.

Mallory is one of the dozens of alumni from the 1960s to the 1990s who met up at the former Ensley High School to get a final look.

“There’s great history at Ensley High School for me and the people who graduated with me,” Mallory said.

The group met, because demolition was scheduled to begin the first week of November, according to a representative with the Mayor’s office.

The demolition conducted by Zimmerman Properties, we’re told, would start inside the school before the structure is completely torn down and rebuilt into new affordable housing and a proposed grocery store.

However, for Mallory, it was bittersweet.

“I have mixed emotions. We need a grocery store. We are in a food desert here. However, I’m sure a grocery store could be located somewhere else,” she explained.

Mallory said she had other ideas for the site.

“I hate to see the school leave. I would’ve loved to see it revitalized and stay in our community as a legacy for our children in this area because the children in this area are now bussed to different schools,” Mallory added.

The school closed more than 14 years ago and caught on fire in 2018.

Whatever happens in the future, Mallory said she was still glad something was being done with the property.

“To see it revitalized and see the city come back to life, I’m glad about that,” Mallory said.

WBRC reached out to Zimmerman properties for a timeline on the demolition, but we did not hear back before this article was written.

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