The reimagining of Northside High School has just taken another step forward. Developing partners The Works Inc., the Klondike Smokey City CDC, and ComCap Partners recently announced the official name and a construction timeline for Northside Square, a multi-use community hub in the Klondike neighborhood. While the planned redevelopment of the high school, vacant since 2016, has been in the works for a while now, yesterday’s announcement provides new details for the multi-use development, or, as it’s now known, Northside Square.
What it is:
Northside Square will reimagine the vacant high school as a 270,000 sq. ft. multi-use building complete with a welcoming plaza, renovated courtyard, office and retail space, affordable housing units, and upgraded gymnasium. The site will also pay homage to the former high school with a Northside High School Hall of Fame, featuring memorabilia curated by Northside alumni.
Why it’s important:
The 2016 shuttering of Northside High School left a hole in the Klondike neighborhood, and Northside Square developers hope to provide a new community hub for the area, or, as reflected in the newly announced name, a town square. Programming at Northside Square will include comprehensive health care, workforce development, literacy advocacy, technical skills training, athletic, fitness, and performing and visual arts opportunities.
A rendering of the newly-named Northside Square.
Interior demolition will soon begin at the old high school, first built in 1968, allowing for interior renovations to begin in early 2023. Developers hope to open Northside Square in 2024.
[Related: Read “Nonprofits strike history-making deal with Shelby County for land transfer in Klondike, Smokey City” on High Ground News.]
What’s in a name:
“Community input was crucial for us during the naming process, because Northside Square is a place for the community, plain and simple,” says Roshun Austin, president and CEO of The Works, Inc. “Our team connected with Klondike community members and Northside Alumni through meetings, focus groups, and email. We surveyed more than 150 people with 25+ options, and the overwhelming majority chose Northside Square as their favorite. We did, too.”