MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis-Shelby County Schools is considering land near Shelby Farms for its new state-of-the-art high school.
MSCS is re-imagining the wooded area as the potential home of its new highly anticipated high school in the Cordova area.
The school is being built for the thousands of MSCS families impacted by the decision to let the city of Germantown acquire the elementary, middle, and high schools that carry the town’s name.
“We want to make these families feel as though there are options and equal quality options.. it’s exciting the fact that we’re going to have a new high school in our district, and we haven’t had one in 10 years,” said MSCS Board Member Michelle McKissack.
On Tuesday, board members will meet to decide if they want to move forward with the property the district is eyeing.
“The school district has been searching for property and they have been doing it very discretely because oftentimes when you have a large purchase like this, they don’t want to taint the process of trying to get the best deal,” said McKissack.
McKissack said the deal is still in the early stages.
According to a real estate purchase and sale agreement, the district is considering purchasing a little more than 35 acres of land from Crews Investment Holdings LLC. The land described in the agreement is located between Herbert Road and Raleigh LaGrange Road.
It’s being sold to the district for around $3.5 million.
“This is not about spending money on a new school. This is about investing in young people in their future,” McKissack said.
For months, student supporters of the 3G schools rallied for their schools to be saved. Ultimately, it was decided the schools would be handed over to Germantown and Shelby County would invest $72 million to build a new Cordova-area school with Germantown chipping in $5 million.
“I remember meeting with the students from Germantown High School and how passionate they were. that their school didn’t just disappear,” McKissack said. “They put in a lot of work to bring this into fruition.”
Former school board member Rev. Kenneth Whalum has concerns about the deal.
”Large buildings in public education, it’s not being done anymore. This is just something for some realtor to get millions of dollars in commission,” Whalum said.
McKissack said the board will hear a presentation from the administration Tuesday and then decide how to move forward.
“It has to go through feasibility. It has to go through environmental testing before any sort of real purchase,” she said.
McKissack said the testing alone could take months. She also said the district has other sites waiting in the wings if this doesn’t work out.