Proposal to preserve historic Knoxville High goes before Commission

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A building on Knox Heritage’s “Fragile 15” list will be preserved as part of a proposal going before the Knox County Commission at the board’s October meeting, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett announced today.

In addition to preserving the historic Knoxville High School, the proposal by Family Pride Corporation and Southeastern Housing Foundation will also allow the iconic World War I doughboy statue to continue standing guard in front of the school.

“There is a lot of Knoxville history wrapped up in this school, and it looks like we’re going to be able to preserve it,” said Mayor Burchett. “The $13.7 million dollar investment that Family Pride and Southeastern are planning to make is great for this community.”

The plan, which was the winning bid resulting from a recent Request for Proposals (RFP), includes 100 units of senior housing and would create an anticipated 18 new jobs, generating nearly a half million dollars in annual payroll.

“Historic Knoxville High fits beautifully into our mission of preserving historic buildings, and providing senior living services of the highest quality at reasonable costs,” said Family Pride Corporation General Manager Rick Dover. “We are grateful and excited about the opportunity at Knoxville High.”

“Southeastern Housing Foundation has a strong track record of serving people in the community well, and this partnership is another big step in that direction,” said foundation President Chris Martin. “We believe this proposal will provide a legacy for this historic property that all generations – past, present and future – can be proud of.”

The Knox County Commission will likely vote on the proposal Oct. 28 during the board’s monthly meeting.

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