The Scott Center, located at 401 North Fifth Street in Oxford sits on eight and a half acres of land that is for sale by the Oxford School District. In early November, a joint meeting was held between the Oxford School District Board of Trustees and the city of Oxford board of aldermen in city hall to discuss the sale.
But Superintendent Brian Harvey said the idea of selling the land had formed much earlier than November.
“Initially we were approached in late summer, around July, about selling 1.2 acres of property over at the old Middle School,” Harvey said. “And the property that was desired was closest to Jackson Avenue. And quite frankly, it was an area that we weren’t even maintaining. It was mostly used for parking when Ole Miss played home games. It’s basically a vacant area situated on a hill.”
The Scott Center is on the property the Oxford School District is trying to sell but could be leased from the new owner for $1 per year until a new facility is built.
Harvey said that someone put a contract in front of them that was filled with different stipulations and that’s when the School District decided to just bid it out.
“We decided to let people bid on it and then we’d be able to tell what it was worth,” Harvey said. “Well, the bid for those 1.2 acres was 2.1 million dollars. And that made us step back and say, if that’s what it’s worth, maybe we need to look at selling more property. So, we hired an engineer, Precision Engineering, to basically draw off or parcel out four different tracts and we put those up for bids.”
Harvey said that was currently the status quo of the project. The bids are good until December 24th at which time the Oxford School District Board of Trustees will have to take action to either accept one of the present bids or take more.
“We’ve hired a planner now, because the attorney we had worked for the same firm that represents the city,” Harvey said. “And both attorneys have recused themselves of any discussion about zoning because of that, so we’ve obtained other legal counsel, the City and the School District. We’ve hired Slaughter and Associates to represent us because we know nothing about planning.”
Harvey said that once a bid is accepted, the Scott Center will stay in its present location for a year, with the School District paying $1 for that year’s lease to the new owner.
“The plan is to take part of the money we make from the sale and build a new Scott Center in a different location,” Harvey said, “pending sale of the property, of course. And then, when and if we do sell, we can use the other money for future projects.”
To see who has bid on the property and how much, visit the school district website.