No matter how fast it grows, the city of Trussville remains a close-knit community. A sense of history along with thoughtful progress has created a place that appeals to people from all walks of life.
"There is a small town feeling, but with a good selection of commercial areas so you don't have to go very far for what you need," said Diane Poole, executive director of the Trussville Area Chamber of Commerce. "Our school system is one of the best in the state and we have a variety of housing options."
Past City Council President Jane Bailey, a long-time resident, said, "People just feel good about living here. I have watched us grow from 3,000 to 18,000 people, but there is no change in that feeling of community."
City leaders are particularly proud of the new civic center, which opened in October 2008 on Trussville-Clay Road near the middle school. The Civic Center has an exhibition hall with a 1,250-person capacity, for five meeting rooms and a gymnasium suitable for tournaments. "We'll be able not only to have community events, but also to attract meetings and conferences," Bailey said.
Parks, greenways and sports facilities offer recreation for all ages and interests. In summer, the pool and splash park (recently fitted with a water-saving recirculating system) are open to Trussville residents. Three athletic parks provide sports fields for baseball, basketball, softball, soccer, football and tennis for all ages, as well as walking and biking trails.
Trussville has developed into a shopping destination in the past few years. The historic downtown is known for antiques and long-standing independent businesses. Large retailers have located in new shopping centers near I-459, including the regional-level Colonial Pinnacle at Tutwiler Farms, which opened in 2007.
Residential areas range from rural farmland to upscale subdivisions. Unique to Trussville is the Cahaba Project, a tree-filled historic neighborhood built in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration as suburban housing. "This is one of the few WPA projects in the country that is still intact," Bailey said. "It is one of the most desirable communities in the city." The Project is listed on the Alabama and National Historic Registers.
Special events bring residents together and attract visitors. The most famous is the annual Dog Daze family festival held annually on the second full weekend in May. "We usually have 5,000 attendees or more," Poole said. "It's an outdoor event on the Mall in front of the former middle school, with entertainment, arts and crafts, lots of exhibits, booth vendors, food, and a children's area." There is a Trussville Freedom Celebration on July 4, and a Christmas Parade on the second Saturday in December to kick off the holiday season.
"We are very family-oriented," Bailey said. "It's not all one age group, either. There are elderly residents who have lived here for a long time, and then their children and grandchildren come back to live. There are a lot of churches and community groups. People are connected."
The city has always tried to protect its natural resources, including the upper Cahaba River, which flows through town. "We were the first city to pass laws that protected the river by requiring good practices for development. The river is an asset that needs to be preserved." Bailey said.
Beautification and design projects enhance the area's appeal. For example, led by council member Wayne Taylor, the city installed vintage-design street signs instead of the standard green and white. "The signs are very attractive and give a good impression," Bailey said. "We also encourage decorative lighting and landscaping, and have put in some overlay districts to encourage attractive business areas."
Poole cited Trussville's school system as a major draw. "We now have one of the top school systems in the state," she said. City schools became independent from the Jefferson County system in July 2005 after years of preparation. Enrollment is now around 4,100.
Our high school with a capacity of 1,600 students opened in October 2008 on Deerfoot Parkway. Our middle school is located on Trussville-Clay Road in the former high school building. Paine Intermediate accommodates third, fourth, and fifth graders, and Paine Primary houses kindergarten through second grade.
Follow what’s going on in Trussville City Schools by visiting the following sites: http://www.facebook.com/trussvillecityschools (system wide)
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002923536969&sk=wall (middle school)
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=129743800380021&ref=ts (high school)
Trussville has much to offer, Bailey said. "We have the schools, the recreation and the shopping, so young families can do things close to home."