City hopes to transform current Grissom campus into future town - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

City hopes to transform current Grissom campus into future town center

A new Grissom High School is set to open in 2016. (Source: WAFF file) A new Grissom High School is set to open in 2016. (Source: WAFF file)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Huntsville city leaders want to look at redeveloping Grissom High School into a South Huntsville Town Center and development district. 

A new Grissom High School is set to open near Weatherly Road and South Memorial Parkway in 2016. City officials don't want to leave the current property off Bailey Cove Road vacant. 

When the district announced plans to open the new school, city leaders talked about keeping the existing theatre, and then transforming the school into a possible city library, and putting the Huntsville Police Department's south precinct in the rest of the facility. 

Those plans are still on the table, but city development leaders said they have an even bigger plan for the campus and its valuable land.

“Not just a site but a real neighborhood, a center for activity,” said City of Huntsville urban planner Dennis Madsen. “It could be really the postcard shot over time for South Huntsville to almost become South Huntsville's own downtown.”

City leaders said more than $60 million in road renovations will help jump start development along Memorial Parkway on the south side of Huntsville. The road work is projected to start in 2015. The area that will see a major facelift sits between Martin Road and Lilly Flagg Road. Crews will work on installing new interchanges, overpasses, and completion of the expressway.

“I think one of the things that is incumbent on the city is to get our regulation in place to make sure that we can better accommodate higher density, better quality, more sustainable developments up and down the parkway that really serve the neighborhoods better and respond to the parkway a little bit better,” said Madsen.

The urban planner also said he believes improvements to South Huntsville’s Ditto Landing could start at the beginning of 2015.

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