TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building in Tuscaloosa is officially renamed the Richard Shelby Federal Building and Courthouse following a dedication ceremony Friday.
The building was one of the many projects that Senator Shelby secured federal funding for, which is one of the reasons why those here today say it’s only right to bear his name.
Several state officials came out to the ceremony, including Governor Kay Ivey, Attorney General Steve Marshall and Senator Katie Britt.
In remarks, Governor Ivey said Shelby is Alabama’s chief protector and promoter. She says his investments in education and efforts toward widening the port of Mobile have significantly improved the state.
“He has invested many hundreds of millions of dollars in academic and facility improvements at our institutions of higher learning — from north to south, to right here at the University of Alabama,” Ivey said.
Senator Britt, who used to be Shelby’s chief of staff, says he’s been a mentor and friend to countless people in the state, and his legacy lives on past the doors of the courthouse.
“No doubt that generations of Alabamians will be able to sit under trees that you planted — the shade a legacy of greatness for so many,” Britt said.
Following remarks, Shelby’s grandchildren unveiled a portrait of him that will be displayed in the courthouse. In response to it all, Shelby says he’s grateful.
“I owe so much to so many. I want to first thank the people of Alabama of our state for letting me serve in public life 52 years, 12 elections consecutive, 36 years in the Senate, eight years in the house and state Senate,” Shelby said. “But now I’m a private citizen and I’m home where I need to be in Tuscaloosa.”
This building houses not only the U.S. District Court but also the FBI, Senator Britt’s office, the Social Security Administration and more. The renaming bill was signed by President Biden in March of last year.