For nine decades, the Point Clear School has stood as a one of a kind structure in the community.
However, in a matter of minutes on Wednesday, January 8, 2013, it was reduced to rubble.
Firefighters responded to the scene on County Road 32 to flames shooting through the roof and windows of the structure.
An intense battle left the building a complete loss.
Carlton Spinks bought the property 6 years ago with the intention of preserving its history. He had already begun work on renovating and selling it when this happened.
“It’s upsetting losing it from a personal value standpoint. But it’s also upsetting because of what it means to the community. It’s very deflating and very disappointing to lose it,” said Spinks.
Spinks says he had high hopes for the building, which had been vacant for around 20 years.
“I just saw a beautiful building. It had the framework and the integrity. We had beautiful hard pine floors through the building,” Spinks said, “We had an auditorium and 20-foot ceilings and a stage. It had so much flexibility for a performing arts center, music events, parties and receptions. It had so much promise for what it was.”
The blaze happened just hours after firefighters finished extinguishing one at the Deli Depot in Fairhope. Officials say there is no evidence the two are connected but both fires are still being investigated.
Spinks says there has been an outpouring of support from the community.
“People have driven by here and told me stories about when their parents or kids went here,” said Spinks, “It’s just such a focal point of this community because it has been here through generations of people.”
Spinks says the building is a financial loss as fire insurance isn’t issued on vacant buildings.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office office is still investigating.