Vincent High's JROTC looks on as assistant principal Diana Lee accepts the $200,000 commitment from White Rock Quarries' president and CEO, Jim Hurley. (Reporter photo/Jon Goering)

Archived Story

White Rock pledges $200k to VMHS

Published 4:11pm Thursday, August 16, 2012

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

VINCENT – Applause erupted from the staff and faculty of Vincent Middle/High School when White Rock Quarries President and CEO Jim Hurley announced the company was committing $200,000 toward VMHS’s athletic fields and a new field house.

The announcement came during a luncheon in the school’s library sponsored by White Rock for the school’s faculty and staff Aug. 16.

“White Rock is looking forward to improving the schools of Vincent,” Hurley said.

Hurley said the commitment is the fulfillment of promises made in 2009 by White Rock to invest in Vincent’s schools and infrastructure.

“We felt like today is an important day to announce this,” Hurley said. “We’re very proud to recognize the academic achievement of this school.”

According to a map showing a blueprint for future construction, the funds will go to a new softball field, field house and band practice field below the baseball field.

Assistant principal and acting principal Dr. Diana Lee said she was overwhelmed by the announcement.

“I didn’t know it was going to be this much,” she said. “I’m speechless.”

VHS Athletic Director John Hadder said the school’s softball players have had to travel off campus to play games and practice.

“Obviously, it is going to open doors we’ve never had open before,” Hadder said.

After the presentation, Hurley addressed “rumors” about the quarry’s delay in construction.

“A lot has been going on behind the scenes,” he said. “The last block we needed to check was securing an easement to the Coosa River for water discharge.”

Hurley said all permits should be obtained by the second quarter of 2013.

He said the delays were a result of a lawsuit by Vincent landowner Anne Gibbons, which claimed town officials ignored part of the town’s zoning code while considering White Rock’s rezoning application.

According to Hurley, Gibbons filed the lawsuit in February 2010, and in November 2011, the Shelby County circuit court ruled in favor of Vincent, the planning commission and White Rock. Gibbons then appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court, Hurley said. Hurley expects to have a ruling during the first half of 2013.

Hurley also challenged the idea that Vincent property values have decreased. He said, according to the Shelby County Tax Assessor’s office, Shelby County property values have decreased 2.7 percent, while Vincent property has increased 1.65 percent.

“We’re here to stay,” Hurley said. “We’re looking forward to being a part of successes both here and in Shelby County.”

  • justwanttoknow

    I have heard from several Vincent residents that their property values have also recently decreased. You say that property values in Vincent have not decreased on “a whole”. Jim Hurley proclaims that ‘Vincent property has increased 1.65 percent’. So, why have several residents’ property value recently decreased and others have either increased or remain unaffected. The net result is an increase of 1.65 percent for the entire Town of Vincent. I wonder if the proximity of those depreciated properties to the quarry site has anything to do with the depreciation?

    • HFitzpatrick

      I am a local Realtor in the area. Most property values are up. However, if you live next door to someone who sells their house at a below market rate due to financial problems, divorce, or relocation due to work then your property is less because of the comparable sales.
      Furthermore this quarry is probably the best thing that has happened to Vincent to to the long term economic impact that every citizen will benefit from for generations to come.

  • happy2bhere

    The answer is that property values have decreased across the country, the state, and the county. The economy is bad. However, in Vincent, they have not decreased on “a whole.” There is no way to say that the quarry is decreasing property values in Vincent when Vincent has survived this economy better than the county and most of the state.

  • justwanttoknow

    ‘Hurley also challenged the idea that Vincent property values have decreased. He said, according to the Shelby County Tax Assessor’s office, Shelby County property values have decreased 2.7 percent, while Vincent property has increased 1.65 percent.’

    Well, Mr. Hurley, I live in Vincent and my property value consistently appreciated over the past several years. However, since the quarry was voted in, there has been a depreciation in my property value. Say what you will, but I have hard-copy evidence from the Shelby County Tax Assessor’s office to prove that the value of my property is now lower than before White Rock Quarry was given permission by the Mayor and Town Council members to take over portions of Vincent.

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