North Memphis

Public invited to help reimagine Northside High School, virtual meeting on July 14

The public is invited to join Northside Renaissance, Inc. in reimaging the former Northside High School in the Klondike & Smokey City area of North Memphis

The virtual meeting will be held Wednesday, July 14 at 4:30 pm via Zoom. Click here to join the meeting. If needed, the meeting ID is 826 6739 3713 and the passcode is 532198. 

The school closed in 2016, and Shelby County Schools then used the 270,000-square-foot building for their food services division. They moved out in early 2020, and in fall 2020, SCS sold the building to Northside Renaissance, Inc.

NRI is a nonprofit of community leaders, Northside alumni, and other concerned citizens who are vested in the fate of the building. The organization wants to reactivate the building to serve as an anchor for community stability and revitalization.

In a first step towards reuse, crews began environmental abatement work this month, which includes removing asbestos and other safety protocols. 

“Beginning the environmental abatement process just means we are one step closer to re-opening this unique building for mixed-use in support of North Memphis revitalization,” said Northside Renaissance Inc. board chair Quincey Morris in a press release.

Morris said that while they clear the environmental concerns, the group is also actively engaging the many stakeholders who care about the building and its redevelopment, particularly alumni and residents who live near the building.

Neighborhood Preservation, Inc. also commissioned a study in 2018 on possible reuses for the building. Chicago-based firm Studio Gang produced a nearly 200-page report that included the results of community listening across 2017 and 2018.

NRI noted in the press release that the report was "to consider possibilities not prescribe ideas."
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Read more articles by Cole Bradley.

Cole Bradley is a native Memphian and graduate of the University of Memphis. Cole's worked locally as a researcher and community engagement strategist and began contributing to High Ground in Jan 2017.