Trinity to become community college? - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Trinity to become community college?

By Ashley Nix

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - When Trinity Hospital moves from its existing site on Montclair Road to Highway 280, what will happen to what's there now?   According to Mayor William Bell, there's been some interest from community or trade colleges who might want to relocate.  

Mayor Bell made it very clear Monday in his first meeting with the Trinity Re-development Task Force that he wants them to "think outside the box."

The future empty hospital site doesn't necessarily have to be filled by a health care provider, Bell said.  Without mentioning names, Bell said it could be an educational institution.  

"I have received calls about some entity about the possibility," Bell said.  "They want to study it further."

A community college or possibly a technical training facility could be in the works, although Bell says it's too early to tell what will happen in the end.  The mayor is sure of one thing--the site will likely have multiple tenants.

"The size is the biggest challenge," Bell said.  "We have to dissect it to its pieces and see what we can do to attract people to the pieces that remain."

Lots of uncertainty still remain among residents in the area and city leaders of nearby cities.  Mountain Brook's Mayor, Terry Oden, said plans have to be rolling.  

"If something like this, if it sits vacant, it's like a cancer and it spreads," Oden said.  He says good or bad, it affects his city.  "It hurts everybody if it sits here vacant, big time."

For Joe Knott, who's lived in the Crestwood South neighborhood for more than 20 years, it's more of a fear of what will happen when Trinity leaves.  

"I'm glad we're beginning to take immediate action and look at it to see what can be done," Knott said.  "It will require different kinds of institutions, I hope learning, college institution, maybe some medical facilities."

Bell has given the task force until April 2011 to come up with a report.  He will then study the feasibility of their ideas.

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