Community reaction mixed on removal of Alcoa sign

ALCOA (WATE) – It could be seen from the sky or by car since 1987, but soon the Alcoa sign on U.S. 129 will be giving a different view.

“If you fly in or come in from Knoxville, you can see the sign and it says that you’re home, home to Alcoa, or people that are new realize they are in the city of Alcoa,” said Alcoa Vice Mayor Clint Abbott.

The sign, which represents the business Alcoa Incorporated, will be changed to represent the new company Arconic after Aloca Inc. split off into two separate companies.

“I’m for the company,” said Vice Mayor Abbott. “The company has been an integral part of this community for a long, long time and if they’re making progress that’s great, I’m for that.”

Vice Mayor Abbott says seeing the beloved sign go isn’t easy.

Left - Alcoa sign being installed in 1987. Right - Alcoa sign being removed in 2017. (source: Arconic)
Left – Alcoa sign being installed in 1987. Right – Alcoa sign being removed in 2017. (source: Arconic)

“It’s disappointing to see in the city of Alcoa, a sign that says Alcoa, being replaced with one that does not say Alcoa,” said Vice Mayor Abbott.

Blount County community members also have mixed reactions. Some disapprove of the signs removal.

“Alcoa was only the name of a company to begin with, but over the years it’s become the name of a community, so to lose that would be not a good thing,” said John Dings.

Others say it makes sense.

“It is the company’s sign,” said Alyxandrya Thruman. “It does make sense as to why they would want to change it to represent what they are now.”

Alcoa spokesperson Patricia Tipton says the city is going to preserve the Alcoa lettering but as of right now is not sure what will be done with it. A spokesperson with Arconic says once the Alcoa lettering is removed, the Arconic label will be installed.

Work should be completed over the next several weeks, weather permitting.

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