Look Back ... to Friendship School of a bygone era

Mar. 12—March 12, 1948, in The Star: A detailed description of Friendship School, in the Friendship community, serves as argument for Anniston and Calhoun County voters' approval of a property tax for school buildings; the election will be held in four days. As it stands now — barely — the Friendship School building is essentially dying of old age, having been erected 47 years ago when the needs of a community's school were different.Today, its steps, the boards in the floors, its whole frame, are rotting out. Built on rock pillars, it has no way of keeping winter wind from sweeping underneath, making rooms impossible to heat effectively. Serving 141 pupils in grades 1 through 9, the school does boast a five-acre shaded playground, and a lunchroom that serves hot nourishing meals to half the student body at a time. But the students still drink water from a well, relieve themselves in pit toilets and stay warm with stoves in the four classrooms. A new school has been promised if the property tax passes. There's been effort in the past to close the school — the building was in fact condemned before the war — and incorporate the children in the Oxford system. But the Friendship families say no. They want their own school, no matter what.

March 12, 1998, in The Star: After three changes in a proposed legislative bill and an informal decision to study appointing a joint county-city board, area officials declared yesterday that the Fort McClellan reuse effort was back on track — at least for now. The Calhoun County Commission and the Anniston City Council reached an informal agreement to create a joint powers board intended to become the owner of fort land once the Army vacates it.