Germantown offers to buy three Shelby County Schools

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Germantown has officially extended an offer to buy three heritage Shelby County Schools.

The offer is for Germantown Elementary School, Germantown Middle School and Germantown High School.

According to a letter addressed to Superintendent Dorsey Hopson, the district said recent growth has forced them to consider designing and building a new elementary school.

As it stands now, the district is 500 students over capacity at its elementary school and anticipates having similar issues at its middle school in the next couple of years.

"This decision by the Germantown Board of Education does not come without a cost and we have been working very closely with our funding body, the City of Germantown, for the past 18 months to make this new school a reality."

The district said it will be willing to pay $25 million for all three schools, but said if SCS is not willing to part with them at this time, they will be open to other offers.

This all started four years ago when Germantown separated from Shelby County Schools in order to create their own district.

At the time, SCS said they did not have anywhere to put the students who did not live in Germantown and kept the schools.

Superintendent Jason Manuel stated on Tuesday the district never stopped discussing the possibility of getting the three namesake schools back.

In order for that to happen, Shelby County Schools said "A vote by the entire Shelby County Schools Board would be required in order for an offer to be considered for the purchase of any District-owned property. We expect the Board to discuss the matter further and advise on next steps at an upcoming public meeting."

Tuesday's meeting between the two districts went well Manuel said leaving Germantown leaders optimistic.

If the deal goes through, the district is looking at taking control of the schools by September 1, 2017.

The transition for the elementary school would start in 2019 followed by the other schools.

If there is no deal, leaders said they're ready to build a new school with a ground breaking scheduled for this October.

SCS has until May 22 to make a decision.