Campus 124 to preserve much of Valley

By BECKY J. BEALL | Community Columnist

Nostalgia. It’s a tough emotion. Even tougher when it tugs at the heartstrings.

Many folks feel this same sentimental tie to Pelham’s Valley Elementary School. The building welcomed students and faculty beginning in 1964 and served the community well until newer schools were built just a few years back.

Parents watched their babies walk through those doors as an insecure child and walk out as an independent person ready for the next chapter of life.

And, of course, the other side of the coin is that so many current-day Pelham residents are former Valley Elementary students and the drive along Highway 31 is a little different without weekday carpools going on. Nonetheless, the only constant is change. And, change is indeed coming.

While there are certainly bittersweet memories surrounding the school, there are even more concerning the ability to keep the facility as a community cornerstone.

Most people are comfortable knowing that history will be somewhat preserved in the forthcoming endeavor through the purchase of the property by Schrimsher Company, a Huntsville-based developer who plans to keep most of the building.

Schrimsher Company already has one similar project under their belt as they successfully redeveloped a North Alabama school into Campus 805, an entertainment hub.

Plans for Valley Elementary School echo Huntsville Campus 805 bringing much needed restaurants, bars and events to the area and will be known as Campus 124.

Most residents agree that added venues for nightlife and entertainment would be beneficial to the community, knowing that many already drive to other sections of the Birmingham Metro area to access these types of amenities.

The concept of an entertainment complex would be paramount in building quality of life for businesses looking to Pelham in terms of economic development.

Alongside a high-quality school system, access to great medical care, world-class sports (tennis, golf and ice skating to name a few) and an affordable cost of living, this entertainment hub could end up being the cherry on top when luring new businesses to the area.

Nostalgia is a funny thing, isn’t it? And, just maybe in a perfect world, nostalgia can live comfortably in conjunction with ingenuity.