The Memphis-Shelby County Schools board has voted in favor of a $5 million deal to purchase 45 acres of land in Cordova for the construction of a new high school. This decision comes after the district terminated a previous agreement to buy a smaller parcel of land nearby. The new site, located near Raleigh Lagrange and Herbert roads near Shelby Farms, will replace the originally planned 36-acre parcel that was purchased for $3.5 million in February.
The district determined that the initial land purchase did not provide enough space to meet their desired requirements for the new high school, hence the need for the larger plot. As part of the new purchase agreement, the district also has the right of first refusal for an additional 10 acres adjacent to the new site.
The new high school in Cordova will serve as a replacement for Germantown High School, which the district was forced to surrender under a new Tennessee law passed last year. It is expected to alleviate overcrowding issues at Cordova High School, which is currently operating at full capacity. The proposed location is approximately 5 miles southwest of Cordova High School and 5 miles north of Germantown High School. The new school is set to open in the 2026-27 school year, with students transitioning in one go rather than in phases.
To fund the project, the school board has already approved $108 million in expenses, with the high school projected to cost $110 million in total. The Shelby County Commission has provided $77.5 million towards the new school, and the district plans to make up the remaining funds by selling Germantown High School. However, the district has not yet announced a sale.
The approved expenses thus far do not require immediate payment. The majority of the $108 million budget has been allocated towards a $95 million contract with Flintco LLC, responsible for project management. Invoices will be paid as expenses occur, with Flintco overseeing the project to ensure it remains on schedule and within budget. Additionally, other expenses have been approved for further project management and design work.
In terms of size, the new Cordova high school campus will be significantly larger than both the original Germantown High School campus (22 acres) and Cordova High School campus (55 acres).
Source: Chalkbeat Tennessee – Author: Laura Testino