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August 23, 2013

Ribbon cutting and open house at University of Montevallo on Main

A ribbon cutting and open house for the newly renovated University of Montevallo on Main building, located at 737 Main Street in Montevallo, took place Friday, Aug. 23.

The event marked the culmination of more than a year of renovations to the structure formerly known as the Alabama Power building, as well as ushered in a new era of town-and-gown relations with the expansion of the University of Montevallo campus to downtown Montevallo.

Speakers at the event included County Manager Alex Dudchock, City of Montevallo Mayor Hollie C. Cost and University of Montevallo President John W. Stewart III. All spoke to the spirit of partnership that allowed this monumental event to occur. Many of the individuals involved in the process of purchasing and renovating the building were recognized.

Cost noted, “On this day, the lines become blurred between the University and the city.”

Two UM students, Laurel Hall and Dillon Owens, had the honor of cutting the purple and gold ribbons, after which those gathered for the event went indoors to tour the building.

The Montevallo Development Cooperative District, a coalition formed by the City of Montevallo, the University of Montevallo and Shelby County, purchased the building in 2012. Prior to its purchase, the structure had sat empty since 2008, when Alabama Power, after more than 30 years at that location, moved that part of their operations to nearby Calera.

Beginning fall semester 2013, UM’s department of behavioral and social sciences will make its new home in the building. The remodeled structure, which houses most of the department’s offices — as well as seven classrooms, a cyber lounge, and lounge areas for both students and faculty — will serve as home to 55 classes throughout the week, which are estimated to bring an average of 840 students per day to downtown Montevallo.

The building was at its beginnings a state-of-the-art structure occupied by Alabama Power, and so it seems fitting that it would come full circle almost 40 years later to be used by an institution that has at its core a strong commitment to sustainability. It is perhaps the ultimate recycling project!

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