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Former Sylavon Elementary School a 'total loss' after Tuesday night fire

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Sylacauga fire04.jpg

Sylacauga Fire Department Chief Nate Osgood said the former Sylavon Elementary School and Sylacauga City Schools Board of Education Office is a “total loss.”

SYLACAUGA — The Sylacauga Fire Department is continuing efforts to secure a building at West Fourth Street destroyed by fire Tuesday night.

Sylacauga Fire Department Chief Nate Osgood said the former Sylavon Elementary School and Sylacauga City Schools Board of Education Office is a “total loss.”

“It will be next week at the earliest before we have any idea what caused the fire,” he said, adding that an engineer is coming to assess the structural integrity of the building.

“We have to make sure it is safe for us to go inside. We are mopping up and securing the perimeters. Right now, the building is not safe to be around.”

The fire department responded to the call at 8:40 p.m. Tuesday, and when they arrived, the building was already in flames.

The history of the building dates back to the 1940s when it served the children of Sylacauga as Sylavon Elementary School, and later as Central Office of Sylacauga City Schools, which had formerly been housed in a small building on the campus of Sylacauga High School.

Sylavon was vacated in 2016 when the school board purchased the downtown property formerly occupied by the First National Bank. Two years later, both the Sylavon property and Mountainview School property were transferred to the City of Sylacauga.

“Seeing the pictures from the Sylavon fire is a sad experience for the many students, teachers, and employees who spent time in that building,” said Sylacauga superintendent Dr. Michele Eller.

“To students, a school is their home away from home because they spend so much time there. The same is true for employees. Many fond memories and friendships were made in that building. It is always sad to see damage and destruction happen to a place where so many memories and wonderful experiences occurred.

“We are thankful that there were no injuries caused by the fire and commend the firefighters and first responders for their quick action in protecting the surrounding residences. A piece of Sylacauga history may have been lost to fire, but the memories of a place where Sylacauga’s children were cared for and educated for many years will always remain.”