Birmingham Board of Education Building
The Birmingham Board of Education Administration Building is the headquarters for the Birmingham Board of Education. It is located at 2015 Park Place, facing Linn Park and adjacent to 20th Street North. It was built in 1965 and has not undergone significant changes since that time.
The board acquired the property by condemnation in 1959. At the time, landowner Ella Lee Smith petitioned state courts to issue an injunction against the board. Her attorneys contended that the powers of condemnation granted to the board were only to be used for school facilities, not administrative buildings.
The headquarters property is considered a prime location and has attracted inquiries from developers. Beginning in 2004 the City of Birmingham has made four requests for the Board to sell the property to the city. At that time an Orlando developer was proposing a luxury hotel at the site. The issue was raised again in early 2007 when the city agreed to fund teacher buyouts to help bail out the system. Since taking office in November of that year, Mayor Larry Langford has twice requested the property, currently valued at $6 million, in exchange for the board's debts to the city. Board President W. J. Maye has rejected each request.
A complaint against the Board of Education's lack of compliance with 1990's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was filed by Birmingham City Councilwoman Miriam Witherspoon in 2008. The board commissioned a preliminary compliance report from Evan Terry Associates which documented dozens of violations. Although no formal cost estimates have been made, the board expects that it would cost $2- to $3 million to make the repairs.
- Leech, Marie (July 18, 2008) "Costly renovations needed to make Birmingham Board of Education office accessible to disabled people." The Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (June 4, 2008) "Langford, Smitherman want Birmingham Board of Education property - again." The Birmingham News
- "Suit against school board to be appealed" (January 28, 1959) The Birmingham News - accessed June 4, 2008 via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections.