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Former Sylacauga Board of Education building destroyed by fire

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 5:57 AM CDT
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SYLACAUGA, Ala. (WBRC) - The former Board of Education building in Sylacauga caught fire late Tuesday night.

Video of the massive blaze was sent in by viewers.

The site of the former Sylavon Elementary School, later the office building for the Sylacauga Board of Education Central Office, was built during the 1940s and for the next 30 years served the children of Sylacauga as an elementary school. The name for the Sylavon community was created as a combination of the names Sylacauga and Avondale and is in close proximity to the former Avondale Mills property.

During a time when many children walked to school, Sylavon Elementary School served the children of that community who resided in the Sylacauga city limits.

When community needs changed, the school was later converted to become the Central Office of Sylacauga City Schools, which had formerly been housed in a small building on the campus of Sylacauga High School.

As the building aged beyond the ability to maintain infrastructure needs, Sylavon was vacated in 2016 when the school board purchased the downtown property formerly occupied by the First National Bank. Two years later both the Sylavon property and Mountainview School property were transferred to the City of Sylacauga.

“Seeing the pictures from the Sylavon fire is a sad experience for the many students, teachers, and employees who spent time in that building,” said Sylacauga superintendent Dr. Michele Eller. “To students, a school is their home away from home because they spend so much time there. The same is true for employees. Many fond memories and friendships were made in that building. It is always sad to see damage and destruction happen to a place where so many memories and wonderful experiences occurred.”

“We are thankful that there were no injuries caused by the fire and commend the firefighters and first responders for their quick action in protecting the surrounding residences. A piece of Sylacauga history may have been lost to fire, but the memories of a place where Sylacauga’s children were cared for and educated for many years will always remain,” Eller said.

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