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University of Memphis plans satellite site

Collierville’s Board of Aldermen, in their Monday night session, agreed to enter into a long term lease agreement with the University of Memphis for a satellite educational facility on the former Collierville Elementary site in the town’s historic district. colliervilleseal

The lease culminates more than three years of work, according to General Services Director Derek Honeycutt.

Honeycutt to the aldermen that the plan started in March of 2011 when the board accepted a donation of 5.01 acres from Parr Properties as credit for Parkland dedication and approved the same acres to Shelby County Schools for construction of a new Collierville Middle School.

One week later the board agreed in principle with the University of Memphis for renovation and lease of property at the corners of Poplar Ave., Walnut St. and College St. and in June of 2011 the board approved conveying five acres to the Shelby County Board of Education while accepting the old Collierville Middle School property located in the historic district.

In August of 2012 town staff negotiated a lease agreement, demolishing certain buildings at the old middle school property and constructing a new brick and mortar building for the U of M Collierville Campus.

The lease calls for a $5M, 27,000 square foot brick and mortar facility for university-level education. Collierville will issue general obligation bonds to fund the project with the University of Memphis agreeing to a 20-year, $27,000 per month lease or $324,000 annually. Both parties may agree to extend the lease an additional 10 years at the conclusion of the original lease at the same rate. The rental rate may also change slightly based upon the coverage of debt service on the bonds.

The construction project will include the demolition of five existing buildings on the 8.85 acres as well as site improvements.

Haizlip Studio, a Memphis architectural firm, was granted the contract to design the school, being chosen in a “blind” design competition. Due to an aggressive project schedule architectural firms submitted a Request for Statement of Qualifications (RFSOQ) in April. Haizlip Studio was deemed to most closely fulfill the scope of requirements that included the historical character of the old Collierville High School among other demands.

The University of Memphis is expected to occupy the building no later than December, 2014. Haizlip Studio, a Memphis architectural firm, was granted the contract to design the school.

In other action aldermen approved a list of city co-sponsorships. They include such annual activities as the American Cancer Society’s Walk for Life and the Collierville Chamber’s Business Expo. All in all, 15 activities get city co-sponsored support in 2013-14.

  • Approved the purchase of an automated leaf machine and trailered leaf machine. The machine, purchased through the national Joint Powers Alliance Contract, was deemed necessary after the city annexed an additional 600 customers reflecting a 15 percent increase in leaf volume over the year previous.
  • Approved a professional service agreement with Cunningham Engineering in the amount of $25,605 for downtown drainage improvements.
  • Approved $26,450 in design fees to Kimley-Horn and Assoc., Inc. for traffic signal design at Poplar Avenue and Byhalia Road where a wooden pole holding the existing light will be replaced.
  • Another change order for the Queen Oaks Detention Basin and Lagoon. So far there have been 10 change orders approved totaling $96, 195.15.

Aldermen also approved amending zoning to allow used car sales at the existing VIP Storage Facility. The 250,000 square foot building at 89 Eastley Street would be converted to allow Art & Speed, Inc. to “execute the sale of vintage, classic, exotic and luxury vehicles” from an indoor showroom.

Collierville Aldermen also approved expanding noise producing activities an additional 13 hours of construction per week. Construction could increase one hour Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays without special permission.

According to Tim Pendleton of the codes division, the intent of the ordinance is to clarify the building operations codes. Pendleton, in presenting to aldermen, noted that the existing anti-noise section would define homeowners who wish to repair project on their property on a Saturday to be in violation of city code.

Aldermen, through their consent agenda also approved “Food Truck Fridays” at Carriage Crossing shopping center once a month. As many as 10 food trucks are expected to take part.

Aldermen also approved a $12,500 cash donation from Morgan Morton to the Morton Museum of Collierville History and multiple donations to the Lucius E. and Elsie C Burch, Jr. Library. The Collierville Contemporary Club donated $600; Collierville Elementary donated $391.90 and $11,440 from Friends of the Library.

Kellogg’s donated a surplus ambulance stretcher to the fire department’s MedStat Mini-Ambulance. The stretcher has been valued at $3,500.

Collierville also approved the purchase of six portable multi-chemical detectors through an $11,892.72 Homeland Security Initiative.

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