The Butts County Board of Education last week agreed to sell the old Henderson school campus on North Mulberry Street to a group of alumni for $125,000.
The Henderson School Alumni Association Trust has been working since late 2017 to purchase the old school campus, which sits on 17 acres and includes two classroom buildings of about 76,000 square feet combined and a 13,000-square-foot gymnasium.
Under the terms of a sales contract agreed to by the school board Nov. 12, the trust would pay a $50,000 down payment on the property, and $7,300 per year for 10 years. The trust would also be required to begin work to obtain an Environmental Protection Agency grant to mitigate the asbestos on the property.
The Henderson School Alumni Association Trust has proposed using the site as a Boys and Girls Club to serve Butts County, as well as a community and workforce development center that would offer educational opportunities and job-skills training, a business incubator and health and wellness programs.
The school first opened in November 1955 as Henderson High and Elementary School, an all-black school for first- through 12th-grades. It later served as the home of Henderson Junior High School and North Mulberry Elementary School. The property was last used as the school system’s alternative school, North Mulberry Academy. It has been vacant since 2010.
The Butts County Board of Education first put the campus up for sale in 2012. It agreed in 2017 to sell the campus to the alumni group for $235,000.
Superintendent Todd Simpson said the school system supports the trust’s objective of creating opportunities for young people in the community and at the same time has a responsibility to be a good steward of public assets.
He said the presence of asbestos factors into the value of the property. “We know that affects the price,” he said.
Simpson said closing on the sale could be scheduled for sometime in mid-December.