Parents and alumni of Virgil I. Grissom High School gathered at the campus on Bailey Cove Road for a farewell to the building and fundraiser for the new South Huntsville Library.
The “Goodbye Grissom, Hello Library!” community gathering was nostalgic for many guests such as Jim Hillenbrand, a member of the school’s first graduating class in 1971; and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, who played baseball for Grissom, graduating in 1972.
Madison County Commissioner Phil Riddick; former Grissom principal and retired Huntsville City Schools administrator Tom Drake and Brooks unveiled the architectural renderings of the new South Huntsville Library, part of the Sandra Moon Community Complex to be built on the former high school campus.
Hosted by the Huntsville Library Foundation, the South Huntsville Library is projected to cost $8.4 million. The City of Huntsville and Madison County Commission District 5 have each pledged $2 million, leaving the community fundraising goal at $4.4 million.
The proceeds from the event’s prom-style dinner and dance, along with proceeds from selling school locker doors and brick pavers go toward that goal. An alum in Florida sent his parents to the event just to purchase his former school locker door.
The Sandra Moon Community Complex, named for the former city councilwoman who represented the district, will include the library, a reading garden, tennis courts, pickleball courts, a playground, walking and exercise space, and an outdoor performance space. Construction is expected to be completed by March 2020.
The new Grissom High School opened off Haysland Road last July.