Mayor Tommy Battle and City Schools Superintendent Christie Finley announced Thursday they are working on a potential relocation site for the school system’s administrative offices. The leaders reviewed plans at their respective City Council and School Board meetings Thursday night.
Battle said the city has agreed to commit up to $3.5 million toward the purchase of a 14-acre site for a mixed-use redevelopment project at the northwest corner of Max Luther Drive and North Memorial Parkway. A school system central office would be part of the project.
The property is a strip mall that includes a Dollar General and formerly was a Builder’s Square.
At Thursday’s City Council meeting, Director of Urban and Economic Development Shane Davis presented several design concepts. Those concepts include a mix of uses, such as office, medical, retail, hotel and multi-family residential in the redevelopment of the property. He said the agreement requires the city to clear and prep the site and contribute $1 million toward construction costs of the new central office.
“We’ve been working in partnership with Huntsville City Schools for many years to provide the best possible education for our students, and that includes accommodations for a more centrally located school headquarters,” Battle said. “There’s still a lot to work out on this potential site, but we’re excited about the possibilities of providing a dedicated building for education in this highly visible area.”
The area near Max Luther and the Parkway is part of an urban redevelopment corridor where the city recently constructed Lantana Park and Madison County built its office complex.
“The redevelopment of the Memorial Parkway corridor continues to be one of the city’s top priorities,” Davis said. “We have seen good return with our public-private investments within the corridor and this project will add to the success. Working together brings success to everyone involved, especially our community.”
District 1 Councilman Devyn Keith said he’s excited to hear future announcements about potential projects connected to the development.
“My community welcomes this with big open arms,” he said. “This is a tremendous step, if done correctly, for the City of Huntsville.