The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

October 3, 2013

Belle Mina school purchase needs more developer input

A proposal to purchase the former Mooresville-Belle Mina Elementary School is awaiting further steps by the developer, said school officials during Tuesday’s Limestone County Board of Education meeting.

Dr. Tom Sisk, superintendent of Limestone County Schools, said the developer must meet requirements from the Alabama Building Commission since the school-owned property would be bought through a lease-purchase plan under the proposal.

“Because it’s state property, there’s a whole host of things (required by the state), including engineered plans and going through the Building Commission,” Sisk said. “The only way to avoid that is to buy it outright from the board.”

Sisk said the proposal could be voted on at the Nov. 5 school board meeting if the project meets state requirements.

The project’s developer, Athens businessman J. Bradley Horner, offered $600,000 to buy the nearly 7-acre Belle Mina property during the Sept. 17 school board work session.

Horner proposed a five-year lease agreement, with a 12-month delay for the first set of payments due to the initial capital outlay needed to renovate the dilapidated property into a full-time day care open by August 2014.

The 6.9-acre property at 5711 Mooresville Road is listed at $659,000. The school closed in 1991 due to declining enrollment.

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