At Monday night's JMCS board work session the superintendent and the board took up the issue of the future of West Jackson School, formerly the West Jackson Learning Center. The building has been deemed unsuitable for school use.
When the system decided not to use the building it was assumed the building would revert back to the ownership of the city of Jackson. However that's not what is in the school consolidation agreement.
The system owns the building and has the responsibility of deciding its future.
One option is the system can, with council approval, try to sell the property. As an example the City of Jackson sold the old Jackson Junior High School to developer Barry Walker who had plans to develop the property into Residential and Commercial space. Through a series of events the city ended up taking the property back, and it was later developed by Frank McMeen and John Allen.
This option would require the school system to keep the property secured and insured while a suitable buyer was sought.
Another option is for the school board to ask the city to take possession of the property. The building sits in the TIF Redevelopment District that Hal Crocker's Healthy Communities is developing. It already includes houses once owned by Lambuth which the city purchased and the former RIFA building which became Healthy Communities property in a building swap that included RIFA getting the Nando Jones building.
This would be the quickest way for the school system to dispose of the building and requires no expense, however also gives the system no return on property that is sitting in the heart of a redevelopment district.
The board will take up the issue at Thursday's 6 P.M. board meeting.
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