Crews demolish Lester School, paving the way for future development - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Crews demolish Lester School, paving the way for future development

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Crews broke down the walls of an abandoned Memphis School building Thursday, while the owners of the property said they hoped to replace it with something the community can use.

Lester School was a fixture in the Binghamton community for over 50 years.  Gwen Atkins attended the school in 1948.

"It's a little tender seeing them tear down the building, but it still lets me know what's getting ready to happen," she said Thursday.

Atkins added that watching demolition crews destroy the building brings brought back many memories.

"Walking down Carpenter Street to come to school.  Going in on the side door - wonderful memories," she said.

First Baptist Church Broad Avenue owns the property.  It teamed up with Shelby County, the city of Memphis, and HUD to clear the grounds for the development of a new Christian school and other community related projects.

"The building has been vacant for several years," Pastor Keith Norman said. "It had been occupied by people who were homeless.  There were all sorts of activities going on that were not good for the community."

According to Norman, the goal of the revitalization project is to help improve the vibrancy and restoration of the community.

"Within the last 10 years, we've made a commitment by investing over ten million dollars along the Broad Avenue corridor to see life better for the residents of Binghamton," he said.

Officials said part of the revitalization project could also include workforce development.  They plan to release specific details in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly