Calera Main Street organizes January workday, pressure washes sidewalks

Published 10:17 am Friday, February 9, 2024

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

CALERA – Those walking along Calera Main Street are likely to notice a lighter shade and cleaner appearance along the city’s sidewalks following the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as the result of a community service and work day that took place on Monday, Jan. 15.

Over the course of the day, volunteers took time out of their holiday to rent and operate professional-grade pressure washers that steadily removed years of dirt and debris from the concrete.

“For now, we are cleaning up what we have,” Calera Main Street Executive Director Jackie Batson said. “We had these incredible guys from Vulcan Materials who took their holiday over Martin Luther King Jr. Day to complete that project for us and to help beautify downtown Calera. They are one of our sponsors and we are so grateful for them.”

The work comes as a stop-gap measure ahead of more significant improvements to Calera’s sidewalks coming next year that will bring additions and repairs to the existing sidewalks that will bring them up to ADA compliance and offer new parking solutions.

“As you know, our sidewalks have been in disrepair for a while now,” Batson said. “I am so excited that the city of Calera has won a Transportation Alternatives Project (TAP) Grant from our state and we are going to have new sidewalks next year.”

The day also saw students from Calera High School volunteer in efforts that saw the removal of the remaining Christmas decorations and a great deal of window paint that remained on the windows along Main Street.

While covering the day’s work, Batson also highlighted the efforts and work that have taken place at the former site of the Bobby Bowden Furniture Building, which was largely demolished in a process that began on Jan. 8.

“This beautiful space opens up our footprint for the Calera Courtyard and everything that we do in downtown Calera even more,” Batson said. “It is going to help us so much when it comes to be time for our community festivals. We now have parking lots and this area that we can open up.”

Its addition, along with other areas and lots that are still available, will allow the city and its Main Street organization to host festivals even during the most intensive phases of the courtyard’s construction.

I don’t think there is any fear surrounding us still being able to host festivals while the Courtyard is under construction,” Batson said. “We work around the progress and we love service days like this where we can get the community and families working together. Calera Main Street is nothing without our sponsors, our donors and our volunteers.”