HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The old Grissom High School first opened its doors in 1969, but it’s getting torn down soon and a community center will be taking its place. The campus was home to thousands of students in southeast Huntsville over the years and they all found their own unique way to leave their mark on the school, but some students found a small sidewalk to leave their mark on over 40 years ago.
Dana McMahan graduated from Grissom in 1986, but his oldest brother David was in the class of 1974 and was one of the students who signed his name into the concrete. David passed away after a car accident just four years after he graduated and Dana was just 12 years old.
“It’s basically a way for me to reach out and see something that was my brother’s who’s gone now,” McMahan said. “It’s probably the same for a lot of people that don’t have their brothers and sisters that aren’t here anymore with us.”
Dana reached out to WHNT to see if there was any way of preserving the sidewalk and to tell the story of the signatures.
“Once they get rid of this place and bulldoze it to the ground, this will be a reminder of how long this school was here, how many students went through this school,” McMahan said. “Some of the best times of my life I had right here.”
Dana told WHNT whether they can preserve sidewalk or not, his brother’s cemented signature is as a part of himself and his family and he’s honored to have been a part of the Grissom legacy.
The city has gone out to take a look at the sidewalk; unfortunately, WHNT learned the city may not be able to keep the sidewalk preserved.
Ricky Wilkinson, director of general services for the city, says he’s available to talk about other possible options of saving the memory of the sidewalk if anyone wants to reach out. You can call the city at (256) 535-2489 and ask to speak with Ricky if you’d like to discuss the sidewalk.