Construction has begun on a third storm shelter for the City of Scottsboro. The storm shelter, located at Hollis United Methodist Church on Broad Street, will increase the city’s capacity to protect residents in case of severe weather by adding 95 additional spaces.

“It has been so rewarding to work with local people who have a passion for helping our town,” said Scottsboro Mayor Robin Shelton in a press release. “This shelter was something that was much needed for the southern part of our community and I am so grateful to Pastor King and the congregation at Hollis Memorial for letting us work with them on this project.”

Shelton says that while the shelter’s official capacity is capped at 95, in case of emergency it could hold as many as 200 residents.

The mayor expressed concerns about residents being packed so closely during the Coronavirus pandemic but noted that the city’s first concern in the event of severe weather would be protecting citizens from the immediate threat.

Scottsboro City Council approved the project earlier this year and talks between the City and Hollis United Methodist Church began in January about the property and construction of the storm shelter.

“When Mayor Shelton reached out to us in January about the project, our congregation was 100% in agreement, as we had already been praying, dreaming and discussing how we might fund such a shelter ourselves,” said Donna King, the pastor of Hollis United Methodist Church.

The project is a collaboration between the City, the Hollis Memorial and the Northeast District Board of Building and Church Locations, who approved the request by Scottsboro to place a storm shelter on the property.

“The people of the Hollis United Methodist Church are very excited to partner with the City of Scottsboro for this shelter project,” said King. “Our church family has had a good relationship with the community, and we believe that serving as the host site for the facility is a way that we can further serve needs on the south end of Scottsboro.”

The project officially began construction on Monday, Aug. 17 after the lease for the property was signed the week before. The project was originally expected to be completed in spring; however, due to the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic the it was delayed.

The city projects that the shelter will be completed by the end of September.

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