University of North Alabama expands beyond county lines

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TUSCUMBIA, Ala. — The University of North Alabama has been in its current location in Florence since 1855 but through continued growth and new partnerships, that’s going to change.

Ross Alexander, Provost of the University of North Alabama, announced Tuesday that UNA is establishing a physical presence in downtown Tuscumbia during part of his keynote speech at Tuscumbia’s State of the City Address.

The expansion will be housed inside of a redeveloped space on 6th Street. Mayor Kerry Underwood is excited about the expansion and the role it will play in the revitalization of downtown. The location will host meetings and events. It will also feature office, gallery, and classroom spaces.

This new location ties directly into Mayor Underwood’s theme of regionalism as noted by his State of the City Address, and Provost Alexander agrees.

“The University of North Alabama has an obligation to serve the entire Shoals community and the entire North Alabama region,” said Alexander. The mayor added, “2019 then became the year to grow our influence in the Shoals community and further, thus the word regionalism.”

Provost Alexander says the positive redevelopment in downtown Tuscumbia and the show of support from citizens are just a few of the reasons why he believes the city is a natural partner for the endeavor.

When the new location opens it will be UNA’s first physical presence in Colbert County since the 1800s. The university was founded as LaGrange College in 1830 near Leighton.