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Photos by Kyle Thornton

THS deconstruction/demolition complete

By Michael Butler

It was more of a deconstruction than demolition. Certain parts of the 1929 structure on the Tallassee High School campus were meticulously removed to be preserved and recycled.

Now the work is complete. The blank space will become the new main academic building in 2022.

"I had a few people ask me what took so long," Tallassee City Schools Superintendent Dr. Brock Nolin said. "If you went behind the building you'll see a pile of scrap metal, floor joists, timbers and brick. They're separating as they take it down."

Nolin has seen layer by layer how things have changed in construction.

"When they built in '29, we didn't have concrete trucks that poured footings. They built it up on brick piers. They have floor joists sitting on those. It's amazing to me to look at the wood grain on the floor joists. Those are things we're retaining - just the grain pattern in the heart pine.

"One of the floor joists was charred. I got to thinking about the original school which was burned in the fire. Most likely what happened is they reclaimed some of the lumber and reused it to build this school. The original school was just across the parking lot where the new gym sits."

Nolin surmised that some of the original wood pieces could be approximately 150 years old.

"When Alabama was settled and the pioneers started cutting the virgin forests, that was the first cutting. Probably most of those floor joists were harvested in the latter half of the second cutting."