Plans underway to redevelop abandoned Kingsport school building

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – Plans are in the works to redevelop an old, abandoned school building in Kingsport.

The former Dickson Elementary school was shut down amid a major school facilities plan in the 1990’s.

Now, the city manager says, a private developer has plans to turn it into a planned residential development.

The property is a place Louann White knew well, as a former Dickson student.

"When they closed it down, it was very sad," White said.

She said good bye to not only her school, but the home of some of her favorite memories.

"I’m hoping that they’ll do something very nice with it," she said.

That’s exactly the plan, said Kingsport city manager Jeff Fleming.

"We’re excited that a private individual has stepped up without any subsidies or incentives to redevelop this property," Fleming said.

Fleming said the idea is to convert the abandoned building into a planned residential development.

"I think you’ll see a mixture of housing. You’ll see mostly single family. You might see some other forms like duplexes or maybe even a triplex," said Fleming.

But if you ask the city manager, it’s all part of a bigger push for more housing options in Kingsport.

"I call it remodeling the Model City," said Fleming. "We want to get more housing. We want to remodel the housing that we have, make sure its current," Fleming said.

And White is looking forward to the future of a place that holds a special piece of her past.

"I think that’s going to be good for our community, because new neighbors, and the property is definitely going to look a whole lot better than it does now," she said.

City manager Jeff Fleming says the developer is strongly leaning in the direction of tearing the building down.

One of the next step for developers is to take their proposal to the city’s planning commission.

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