Church turning historic Birmingham school that was once a tornado relief center into health clinic

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The former G.W. Scott School, which was used as a tornado relief distribution center in Pratt City for nearly a year after the tornadoes of April 27, 2011, has been sold to a church to convert into a health clinic.

“Scott School has been dormant for over 25 years,” said the Rev. Kris Erskine, pastor of The Movement Fellowship Church in Pratt City, which plans to turn it into a clinic. “The building needs some work.”

Dr. Elaine Colby, a family practice physician at St. Vincent’s Hospital, said she plans to work with the church to run the clinic.

“I have been called by a higher power to create exactly this type of community health clinic,” she said.

The former G.W. Scott School, which was used as a tornado relief distribution center in Pratt City for nearly a year after the tornadoes of April 27, 2011, has been sold to a church to convert into a health clinic. (Photo by Greg Garrison/AL.com)[email protected]

The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday approved selling the former school to the church for $25,000, along with the adjacent former North Pratt Community Center.

City Council member Carol Clarke, who attended Scott School, expressed concern that the old North Pratt Community Center was included in the deal, but ultimately joined the council’s unanimous vote to sell.

City officials said a newer community center has been built and is available for residents to use, although some still gathered for weekly activities at the old center.

The abandoned Scott School is boarded up and many of its windows are broken out. The school traces its roots back to the 1890s and was renamed in honor of a longtime principal in 1949. It closed in a 1990s school merger.

The trailers behind it are rusting and the playground and basketball court has been overgrown with vines. The school sits alongside the pedestrian walkway that crosses over U.S. 78 at the intersection at Hibernian Street.

“It’s just sitting there, dying, declining, in a prominent location on Highway 78,” Clarke said.

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