B’ham City Council approves Ensley High redevelopment

Mixed-use development at old Ensley High School approved

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Many would call what’s left of the old Ensley High School an eyesore. But the city council approved a project Tuesday that will bring new life to the area.

The Birmingham City Council approved a mixed used development project that would bring new housing and a grocery store to the Ensley community.

The school closed over 14 years ago and caught fire in 2018. Now, Councilor John Hilliard says they’re planning to redevelop the area into something the community can take pride in.

“What it means is the grocery story will be able to relocate in that old Ensley gymnasium along with a child care center,” says Hilliard. “So many other things. They’re going to be over 244 units built in that area for housing.”

With limited access to grocery stores, Hilliard says it means a lot to be working with developers to provide more for residents in his district.

“It’s something that happening in the area and I’m proud to be working along with the community,” says Hilliard. “That they’ve kept the faith that we will work hard. They wanted new roof tops, they wanted new grocery stores to the area. All of those things are happening now. We are excited that they’re happening”

Hilliard says he wants the community to feels a sense of hope about the revival of the Ensley community.

“Our area is changing. You can drive around and see it’s changing,” says Hilliard. “I would love to walk with any of my fellow community people as I’ve done in the past. We’ve gone door to door. You can see the progress being made. And when you see that type of thing coming along it makes you feel good.”

Hilliard says a date hasn’t been set yet for the school’s demolition but he expects that it will be soon.

Copyright 2021 WBRC. All rights reserved.