Video: Old Lee Middle School Property To Be Turned Into Real Estate Location
COLUMBUS, Miss. (PRESS RELEASE) – The Columbus Municipal School Board (CMSD) and the Columbus Redevelopment Authority (CRA) approved a historic agreement on Wednesday that takes the first steps in turning the old Lee Middle School property into a developed tax-generating real estate location.
The action followed three months of intense study by the CRA of the property.
The CMSD board has agreed to option the property to the Columbus Redevelopment Authority for purchase.
Both parties feel this is in the best long term interest of the City of Columbus and the CMSD.
“This is a win-win situation for both the CMSD and the City of Columbus,” Angela Verdell, president of the CMSD Board said Wednesday morning.
“The Redevelopment Authority has done an excellent job in sharing with the Board potential options for how the Lee property can be repurposed to create long-term enhancement and tax revenue for our community.”
“We are pleased that the property can now be marketed to potential developers that CMSD would not otherwise have been able to reach. We are excited to see the outcome of this project.”
John Acker is president of the CRA.
The CRA Board is a group of five business people appointed by the City of Columbus Mayor Robert Smith with the simple goal of redeveloping properties that are underdeveloped.
“We entered an agreement with the school board back in March to look hard and develop a plan for Lee Middle School,” said Acker.
“We learned a lot in these three months and now we are prepared take the next steps to get a developer to come in and develop the property into a job creating and tax generating parcel.”
Acker said the CRA only serves as a facilitator for the property and will not actually develop the property, but will find private developers to do so.
“We want to find the right people to come in with great plans on how to turn this area into something that can help everyone,” Acker said.
“The Redevelopment Authority, the Mayor and the City of Columbus are grateful to the School Board for taking this bold step forward.”
Mayor Robert Smith agreed.
“The Columbus Municipal School Board and the Redevelopment Authority have shown great vision on this project,” Smith said.
“Lee Middle School was a great facility and served tens of thousands of students as a high school and middle school. Now, the site can serve a new generation in a different way.”
Lee Middle School is located on Military Road and has been empty for over five years.