City leaders say nonprofit center likely coming to old AAA school building

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Huntsville City Schools already revealed plans for the new Academy for Academics and Arts in the old Ed White Middle School building last November. It has been redesigned with curved and modern architecture that reflects the arts, fit for students ready to achieve.

But what about the old AAA school property?  The city of Huntsville is just about finished purchasing it, and tenants are already lining up to get inside, says Mayor Tommy Battle.  The city council approved a lease for Greengate School to move in, and WHNT News 19 expects to find out more about the nonprofit institution's plans there in the upcoming week.

City Administrator John Hamilton says the school will use about a third of the space at of the AAA building, and Huntsville Parks and Recreation will occupy the gym. There's also talk of the Boys and Girls Club and other nonprofits joining them there, creating a center for nonprofits.

"Add that to your quality of life. Add that to your educational offering. It makes a lot of sense for a public property to go into something that still serves the public good," said Battle.

He said it's not just about the building, but the community around it too.

"There's a lot of public housing right around [that area]," said Battle. "If these nonprofits [move in] we end up taking some of our poor, some of our people who are on our lower income level and we offer them services." Services like tutoring and mentoring, he says. "We can make it part of an integral portion of the neighborhood."

Hamilton sums up the vision like this: "A collection of organizations that are really focused on enrichment and education, academic programs, predominantly for youth."

These are things city leaders say can strengthen all of Huntsville.