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Decatur City Schools to sell old Post Office building on Bank Street

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - A part of Decatur's history changes hands. The Decatur City School Board held a specially called meeting Wednesday afternoon to vote on selling the old Decatur post office. The school system has had the building for about 14 years. But now it may be moving into private hands.

Wednesday's vote was a formality. It allows the superintendent to move forward with the proposed sale. As for the building, we're told it will undergo some remodeling but its historic value will be preserved.

Prior to Wednesday afternoon's meeting, Superintendent Ed Nichols explained, "You know, I'm excited for the building, that somebody's going to make use it there and be able to invest in it."

Old Decatur, AL post office. (Photo courtesy: Morgan County Archives)

Old Decatur, AL post office. (Photo courtesy: Morgan County Archives)

The old post office is almost a hundred years old. The school system acquired the property around 2000, and have used it for professional development and other programs.

"Right now we have our child nutrition programs there, and we have some special ed teachers that move around the district, we can relocate them easily in buildings we already have," Nichols said.

But as the school system looks to the future, the old building doesn't fit its needs or plans. And so when an offer was made, the board voted unanimously  to accept it.

"This company, smaller I'm assuming, and they'll be able to do things with it that we couldn't do, plus they'll invest a lot of money in it that we really don't think would be in the best interest of our school money right now, to put in that building," Nichols said.

The building appraised at $325,000 but the school system will sell it for $375,000. Not a bad profit considering they paid $131,000 for it just 14 years ago.

The proposed buyer was identified in the board meeting as the Magnolia River Services. The school board did not discuss the company or exactly what they will do with the building, however Dr. Nichols says the company has met with city officials and is very interested in the revitalization of downtown Decatur. There was no indication from the board regarding the timetable for completing the transaction.