HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Superintendent of Schools in Huntsville hopes to decide in the next month or so where to build a new Grissom High School. WHNT NEWS 19 previously the state archaeologist warned the city’s top educator the leading proposed site was an old Indian village thousands of years ago. A community group is saying, “Not in my my backyard!”
Through the trees, near the wetlands and on top of what the Alabama’s Historic Commission calls an old Indian village is the potential home for a new Grissom High School.
“I think there is a long way to go and there are better places to put a school than right here,” Jack Thiemonge.
Thiemonge is with the Byrd Spring Rod and Gun Club. The club owns the property next to the school’s proposed site on Weatherly Road site.
Thiemonge believes the construction and presence of the new high school would interrupt what’s gone on near Byrd Spring for years. He says there are other reasons he wants the school go to somewhere else.
“I think most evident right here is the storm runoff,” added Thiemonge.
The state’s archaeologist wrote in a letter to the Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski Indians lived at the proposed location from 12,500 B.C. to 1,500 A.D.
A lawyer, hired by the gun club, sent a 1998 map showing former Indian property.
“I wouldn`t be surprised if there was a further investigation and the whole site would be determined to be a historic Indian village,” said Attorney Joel Gilbert.
The Alabama Burial Act protects graves. The law changed in 2010 to include Native Americans.
Dr. Wardynski talked about the state archaeologist’s claims at a recent town hall meeting.
“Obviously, it would be important to us if there are archaeological important elements at the site. We have already had a preliminary survey done on the site and it came back with no archaeological findings,” said Dr. Wardynski.
The school district also has the option to build a new Grissom High School on the school’s current site.