Renovations begin on Tremont

Published 11:16 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Selma’s first high school, Tremont High School is getting renovations.

The building was built in 1913, and the 25,000 square foot structure has two full floors above ground, and a full basement. The school was designed by William T. Warren from Birmingham, and is considered one of Alabama’s foremost architects, according to Facebook post from the Historic Districts of Selma.

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“Tremont High School is a contributing property to Selma’s Old Town Historic District,” according to the post “It was added to the National Register of Historic Paces (NRHP) on May 3, 1978.”

The Selma-Dallas County Preservation Society is over the restoration.

According to the Historic Selma website, most of the Tremont Street structure has remained unused for decades with the school district only using the basement for storage, and a deed search indicates that the building has been owned by the City of Selma since 1957. The previous owner, the City School Board of Selma bought the lot in 1911, according to the website.

The society stated that the structure is still sound, but has immediate need for window and roof repairs.

“Before the structure could be occupied, it will also need new electrical services, a new HVAC system, new plumbing and restrooms and repairs to walls, floors, doors and ceilings. An elevator and other accessibility accommodations need to be made,” according to the website. “An asbestos and lead paint assessment and abatement program has to be undertaken.”

“Ideally we would make it another school,” said Candi Duncan, treasurer of the Selma-Dallas County Preservation Society. “We would like to help teach how to restore older homes and have plays in the auditorium.”

Duncan also said the YMCA project on Broad Street took the full attention of the society, and now the society has spent time re-focusing on the school.

Duncan said the project will be around $350,000, and that the public is always available to donate to the society and participate in the society’s fundraisers.

The next fundraiser will be a yard sale on June 23 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Heritage Village located at 622 McLeod Avenue in Selma.

“We are doing what we can to preserve Selma,” said Duncan.