“Game-changing” development plans for Stone Middle School to be announced Monday

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – “Game changer” for West Huntsville, a new “gateway” — those are the terms people on the inside track of city development are using when talking about Huntsville’s Stone Middle School.

While it’s all technically still in the works, officials expect it will be done—with pictures of what’s coming–by Monday afternoon.

The announcement is at 2 p.m.

When you look at the vacant school building on west Clinton Avenue, it may be hard to imagine it’s going to be a game changer for west Huntsville.

“We’re moving in a very good direction,” said Bill Kling, Huntsville City Councilman for District 4.  “It’s going to be very good for the adjacent neighborhood.”

Local developer Randy Schrimsher is planning to change it all, yet hang on to most of it.

Those who know the ideas being considered say about three-fourths of the old school building will be kept in tact.

Crews will build a new brewery on the property and there will be an area for public gatherings for entertainment, such as concerts and the like.

“It’s one of the first things that people see when they come in off the interstate into Huntsville,” said Kling of the old school building located in his district.

But before anything can happen, the building must be sold.

Thursday night, the Huntsville City School Board gave Superintendent Casey Wardynski the authority to sign a contract whenever it comes.

“We didn’t want to be able to be the holdup in the process of making this project go forward,” said Huntsville City Schools spokesman Keith Ward.

Officials say it will sell for its appraisal value, a little more than $1 million.  That’s exciting for the school district.

“We’re excited about being able to have this revenue and being able to put that in other projects for the school district,” said Ward.  He expects the money will be earmarked for building projects.

Monday afternoon, Schrimsher, city and school officials and business owners expected to set up shop there will gather at the school to share artist renderings of what they say will be the new gateway to west Huntsville.

Kling says 36,000 people live in his district and will benefit from the project.
The city will gain new tax revenue too.

It will likely be a working weekend for officials involved in coming up with the official contract and sale of the property.

The schedule of construction will likely come out Monday afternoon.