Council OKs $28,600 in engineering services at HEROES Experience site

PELHAM – The Pelham City Council is moving forward with the HEROES Experience development that will be located on the southwest corner of exit 242, across from the Colonial Pipeline tank farm on Shelby County 52.

At the Pelham City Council meeting on Monday, April 15, the council approved a $28,600 contract agreement with Gonzalez-Strength and Associates to provide preliminary design services for site access and mass grading. This will help establish approximate construction budgets for providing site access, utilities and mass grading for areas located closest to U.S. 31., said David Willingham, director of the Department of Development Services and Public Works.

It was announced in April 2018 that the NFPA HEROES Experience, a public fire and life safety education attraction, would be built in the city. The exit 242 corridor is also expected to undergo a transformation.

In December 2018, the council approved a $19,000 comprehensive traffic study, conducted by Skipper Consulting Inc., to evaluate road access options from all adjoining roadways including Interstate 65, Shelby County 52 and U.S. 31.

In 2017, the city purchased a portion of the property where the attraction will be located for $3 million. The owner of the property donated the other 126.50 acres of the land to the city for a total of 286 acres.

Officials with the National Center for Fire and Life Safety (NCFLS) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) said in April that the HEROES Experience, will take up 25 acres. The project is expected to be immersive, educational and entertaining. The project is expected to bring economic prospects and tourism to Pelham.

The city hopes to develop the area and create a gathering place for residents, with the NFPA HEROES Experience as the flagship attraction. The attraction will be seen from I-65 and will combine public education and state-of-the-art technology to drive home critical lessons in safety for both the young and old alike. The building will be designed to look like a fire engine.

The HEROES Experience is expected to be a more than 100,000 square-foot public, nonprofit attraction serving a wide range of audiences ranging from K-12 school groups and families, to visitors and tourists of all generations.

In other business, the council:

-Approved an ABC application for applicant Margarita Grill, 234 Cahaba Valley Road, for the 2019 Concert Series.

-Approved a resolution to enter into a $2,200 contract with ATC Group Services for the purpose of performing a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment at the old Valley Elementary School building, 310 Opportunity Drive.

-Approved a $40,019 contract with Wiregrass Construction Company for street repairs on Ballantrae Parkway at Cove Lane. This repair includes about 400 linear feet of roadway.

-Approved a resolution to amend the legal description of property on Lee Street acquired through a donation to the city.

-Approved an addendum to the Human Resource Management Inc. consulting services contract.

-Conducted the first reading of an ordinance to amend the zone district boundaries of the city, changing the present A-1 (Agricultural District) to B-2 (General Business District). The property is located along Shelby County 33 and consists of about 5 miles. The applicants are David W. Miles and Nancy Y. Miles.