Smothers estimated the concrete block wall to be at least 50 years old.
“If one block had fallen on one person, they were going to get seriously injured,” Smothers said.
Smothers said members of the Walker County Board of Education expressed concern about the wall’s instability and offered to help replace it with a chain-link fence.
The demolition project, which Smothers said came at no cost to the Cordova Quarterback Club or the city, caused a Facebook furor among local residents concerned about the loss of a senior class tradition.
Since the late 1990s, the names of each year’s graduates have been painted on a portion of the wall near the main gate of the football field.
Cordova High School Principal Kathy Vintson said she has heard some students are upset about not being able to see their names on the wall. She said she is encouraged by their school spirit and is committed to helping them start a new traditon.
“It may be a senior walk, another wall or signs added to the new fence. Either way, we won’t let them down,” Vintson said.
Smothers said the wall will be replaced with an 8-foot chain link fence decorated with royal blue vinyl inserts. He added that the fence will not only be safer but also easier to maintain.
The fence is part of a number of upgrades that should be completed by the fall.
The facelift of Hudson-Kirby is expected to include a fresh coat of paint throughout the stadium, a new sprinkler system, new sod for the field and a new floor in the fieldhouse.
“We want to keep the unique atmosphere associated with this stadium, but we don’t want it to look rundown either. I want it to look as nice as it can while also preserving our tradition,” Smothers said.