Community Meeting Held In Sheffield …. Ideas For Restoring And Reusing The Village School

By  | October 30, 2017 | Filed under: News

SHEFFIELD-A community meeting was held on Sunday, October 29  to discuss restoring and reusing the Nitrate Village 1 schoolhouse, in Sheffield, the meeting was held at the Sheffield Public Library. “We want to find ways to help the community and city rehabilitate the building, keeping it as close to the original as possible while utilizing the space in new ways,” said Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area interim director Carrie Barske.

Before the meeting at the Sheffield Public Library an open house was held at the Village School to allow concerned citizens to view the property and formulate ideas for restoration and use.

Several ideas were put forth at the meeting such as using the school for Multicultural use for business and a “makers Space”, the building could be used to host movies, music and cultural events.  It was also mentioned that some of the space could be used as an Archives space.

It was noted the school and grounds could recognized as Cultural Heritage Tourism Venue.  Someone mentioned starting a Village School Alumni Association.

Funding was mentioned in several ways, corporate sponsorship, grants and private donations to help with the refurbishing of the school.  Also it was noted that filming of the redevelopment might be a good idea to keep interest high in the project.

“The school is in need of immediate restoration to prevent further deterioration.” The MSNHA, city of Sheffield, Alabama Historical Commission and Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments are sponsored the meeting. Nathan Willingham, of NACOLG, and Mary Shell and Collier Neely, of AHC, will facilitate. Village 1—including the schoolhouse–was built in 1918 to house supervisors and employees from nearby nitrate plants.

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