Former Northside High School Environmental Abatement set to start

Mixed-use space to Open in 2023

The Northside High School building on Vollintine Avenue has been without a school for years. Earlier in 2020, the last user – Shelby County School food services – moved out. As of fall 2020, the building has been sold to Northside Renaissance, Inc., a nonprofit that consists of community and neighborhood leaders, Northside alumni and concerned citizens. Starting in July, Northside High School environmental abatement work will begin, which includes safely removing asbestos and creating 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. “At the same time as we work on clearing environmental concerns, we will be actively engaging and lifting up the many voices of our many stakeholders, especially nearby residents and alumni of the school.”

Possible reuse of interior of Northside High School (from Studio Gang report)

In 2018, a private philanthropic source funded Neighborhood Preservation, Inc. (NPI) to commission a study by world-renowned architecture firm – Studio Gang out of Chicago – on possible reuses of the 270,000 square-foot school building. Here is a link to the almost 200-page report that Studio Gang completed in consultation with a broad range of community input through 2017 and into 2018. The report was to consider possibilities; not prescribe ideas. Northside Renaissance, Inc. is actively working on plans to reactivate the building to serve as an anchor for community stability and revitalization.

Update June 9, 2022— For more information about this project’s progress, listen to Emily Trenholm’s interview with Roshun Austin on Memphis Metropolis:

First walk-thru: NPI team gets look at abandoned Northside High School, February 2020

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