The City of Alcoa Police Department (APD) recently promoted three employees. Sgt. James, H. (Doug) Sparks to lieutenant, and Detective Matt Caldwell and Patrol Officer Israel Hernandez to the rank of sergeant. Read on...
From the beginning, the Aluminum Company and the Babcock Company were keenly aware that in order to have a good city, good schools were a first in importance, resulting in the highest degree of interest and contributions of lands, materials and personal interest from the heads of the corporation.
The first school built in the City was Vose School built by the Babcock Company in 1916 and still in use by the City. The same year a small one room school for African-American children was a little to the West of the new extension of Bessemer Street and its parallel companion street Montgomery Avenue. The second school for white children was temporarily provided by refurbishing a mile dormitory, affectionately known by the older citizens as the Mule Barn. During the early days of construction, mules and slip shovels captured by a mule skinner was the prevailing method of moving dirt.
The children in the Bassel section attended the Maryville Schools previous to 1918. About mid-summer of the year the Maryville School Authorities advised the City of Alcoa that due to the crowded conditions of their schools, they would be unable to care for the Alcoa children in the fall. A quick survey indicated that the then-occupied Mule Barn might be made to serve as a temporary school building until permanent school buildings could be built.
A crew of workmen in a period of about eight weeks jacked up the building partitions and built a new roof, providing six class rooms and an assembly hall. After the new Bassel School was finished in 1923, the old Mule Barn was again remodeled and became the new headquarters for the Construction and Real Estate Departments of the Knoxville Power Company and the City’s Municipal offices. After the company’s departments were moved to the General Administration Building on Hall Road, the building became strictly a Municipal Building.
The Springbrook School was completed at a cost of $68,079.70 and put in service in the fall of 1921. Miss Josephine Sheffey was the first principal. After the new Bassel School was opened, Mr. Frazer became the first Superintendent of Schools, followed by Professor Carey. Dr. Goddard became superintendent of schools in 1924, and held the position up to his retirement in 1956. Springbrook Gymnasium was completed in 1928.
In 1926, the Hall School was completed at a cost of $64,028.95 and put in operation. Previously, the second floor of the Commercial Building on Hall Road had provided school facilities for the colored students. Professor Arter was the first principal of the Hall School, followed by Professor Goolsby and in turn by Professor West.
In 1939, the Springbrook High School, or Alcoa High, was dedicated and opened for school in the fall.
The site and expended foundations had been started as a Club House in the early 20s. The gymnasium was added in the early 50s. Later in 1970, construction began on another new school for Alcoa, the Elementary School, to sit on the opposite side of the Duck Pond from the high school. On November 7, 1971, the Alcoa Elementary School was dedicated. The Elementary School is still in use today.
Alcoa High School Gymnasium was completed in the early 1950s and brought many exciting games to Alcoa students - including the Boys Basketball 1958 State Title and another title in 1967.