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East Elementary School was built in 1952 under the guidance of superintendent J.R. Snellgrove. The name East Elementary School seemed too long and after a popular vote the school became Hillcrest Elementary. The building originally consisted of twelve classrooms, an auditorium, a lunchroom, music room, office, and supply room. Seven new classrooms were added in 1958.

During the 1961-62 school year, a library was added to the main building. A preschool program was established in 1968. Three classrooms were added next to the main building to provide for these classes. One room of this building was converted to a reading classroom and later became a classroom for emotionally conflicted students.

During the 1980-81 school year, Hillcrest Elementary School was remodeled to increase efficiency and to make the building more attractive. The school was again remodeled in the summer of 1993. Landscaping of the grounds began at that time and is a continuing project for Hillcrest. An addition of three classrooms was built in 1993. An addition of a PMR classroom, speech room, and a bathroom was completed in 1995.

Due to new class enrollment standards mandated by the Alabama Department of Education, Hillcrest added on again in the summer of 1998. This addition included six classrooms, a teacher workroom/lounge, student bathrooms, and several storage closets. There was also a new Media Center completed in December of 1999. This area also includes student bathrooms and storage areas. A new parking lot was added in the summer of 2002.

On March 1st, 2007 Hillcrest and the adjoining high school complex was destroyed in an F4 tornado. Eight lives were lost due to the storm.

May of 2009 saw the opening of a new Hillcrest Elementary School. The building contains an administrative complex, state-of-the-art media center, indoor P.E. activity room, music room and a cafetorium that seats 300. There are forty-four regular classrooms, two reading rooms and two classrooms for multi-handicapped students. The total square footage is in excess of 98,000 square feet.

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