BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham-Southern College is one step closer to getting back on its financial footing.

Tuesday morning, Birmingham City Council voted to commit a one-time fund between $2.5 to 5 million to BSC if it receives the state’s support through a loan program for higher education institutions in need.

The Distressed Institutions of Higher Education Revolving Loan program was signed into action by Governor Kay Ivey in June.

For BSC president Daniel Coleman, this boost from the city council proved an emotional victory, especially as students come back this week.

“The moment is priceless to be honest. This college has been on that side of Birmingham since 1898. We’re very grateful for the state and the city coming through. These students are really excited to come back, and we want everyone in Birmingham to feel welcome to come to our campus,” Coleman said fighting tears.  

Per this agreement, the city also wants to see BSC offer more opportunities for local students.

“We don’t want to have any more vacancies in our city, in terms of blighted areas, and so that’s a major concern for us. We’re investing in the school that is going to invest back into our students and into our city,” said Birmingham city councilor J.T. Moore.

“We want to make sure whatever investment the city makes is a great investment,” Coleman said.

Along with funding from the state, this money will help stabilize BSC for the next three years as it continues to raise private funds for an endowment. In the meantime, BSC is also approaching Jefferson County for financial assistance.

Classes start back on August 23.