SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Shelby County officials said Monday they have reached a deal that would return the so-called 3G schools to Germantown and allow the county to build a new $100 million high school in Cordova.
The county says Germantown will transfer $5 million cash and assist MSCS with selling one of three MSCS schools located in Germantown. Meanwhile, the other 3G schools will be transferred from MSCS to Germantown. The deal does not affect current students.
That money would help fund the construction of a new high school for 1,800 students in Cordova. The county says it will be the first new high school in Shelby County in a decade.
They said it will be paid for using money from the sale of the third school, along with the $5 million from Germantown and a $72 million investment from Shelby County Government and won’t require any other taxpayer money.
County Mayor Lee Harris mediated the agreement among Memphis-Shelby County Schools, City of Germantown, and Germantown Municipal School District. The Shelby County Commission will review the terms in an executive session Monday and vote on approval Dec. 14, while the school board and Germantown alderman will vote on the 15th.
“We’re grateful to our partners at Memphis-Shelby County Schools and Shelby County Government for working with the City of Germantown to find a solution that works for all,” Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo said in a statement. “For Germantown residents, our ‘3G’ properties are a source of over a century of pride in our community. We’re proud to know that soon enough, these assets will be returned to the City of Germantown as a part of this agreement. Even more so, we’re happy to know that everyone, including MSCS families, wins.”
Commissioner Miska Clay Bibbs, who formerly served on the Memphis-Shelby County school board, feels this agreement is the best-case scenario.
“There were a lot of thoughts, a lot of process, a lot of mediation, and a lot of conversations. I think this is the best situation that we’re in now considering that the state law changes on January 1, and when you’re under a time constraint, a lot of moving parts happen so you’ve got to make sure that you keep children at the center so I think what was talked about today and announced today is probably the happy medium of all involved,” Bibbs said.
In 2013, the three legacy schools — called Germantown Elementary, Germantown Middle and Germantown High School — were kept in the Shelby County School system when Germantown decided to split off and form its own municipal district.
But a new law passed this year prohibits Memphis-Shelby County Schools from operating schools within the boundaries of another district starting July 1 of next year.