Update: Huntsville City Schools had originally planned to purchase the Clements Baptist Church in Blossomwood with plans to relocate the offices there, but there were concerns from homeowners claiming there would be major issues with traffic and parking.
We learned Thursday night that the district entered into an agreement with a third party who will purchase the church instead.
Huntsville City Schools issued the following statement:
The Huntsville City Board of Education voted to enter into an assignment of purchase and sale agreement with 15 & Counting LLC to assume the purchase of the Clements Baptist Church property. The vote occurred during the regularly scheduled board meeting on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.
The entity will assume the sale of the church property, which effectively ends the district's agreement and turns over the board’s contract.
HCS Superintendent Christie Finley stated the district was recently presented with alternative options related to the church location and central office during her ongoing discussions with Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. Among the discussions are tentative plans for the board to eventually relocate the central office to a location in North Huntsville. These new opportunities present improved options for the school district.
Finley and board members expressed their excitement about the possible move, and their discussion touched on how welcoming residents of North Huntsville have been.
The board previously shared tentative plans to eventually relocate the district’s central office after renovating the church property located at the intersection of McClung Avenue and Owens Drive. The board was in the process of working through the due diligence period related to the property, and the sale was never fully completed.
The district will share plans related to the new central office when plans are finalized.
The Huntsville City Council laid out a multimillion dollar redevelopment plan for 14 acres in North Huntsville.
It includes a new, mixed-use project that would include office, medical, retail and hospitality space.
The city's role in the development would include purchasing the site off of North Memorial Parkway and Max Luther Drive for $3.5 million, demolition and site clearing, and entering into a public-private partnership to develop.
The plan would also move Huntsville's city school board central offices to the development.
The city would contribute $1 million for construction of a new central office.
This development plan comes days after community backlash over the school system’s plans to buy a church building and relocate the central office to McClung Avenue.
It's not clear what will happen to the school district's plan to purchase the church building for $2.7 million.