Old Harrison Junior High Contracted to be Sold

Some Harrison city officials took an up-close look at the old junior high buildings this week in preparation for the city’s possible purchase of the complex.

The Harrison City Council meets in regular session Thursday night — a week early due to the Thanksgiving holiday — and a proposed contract is up for council approval.

Mayor Jerry Jackson announced the idea when council committees met last Thursday. It had been bandied about earlier this year in response to voter defeat of two sales taxes from which revenue would have been used to build and maintain a $40-million recreational complex. Critics of the sales-tax proposal had questioned why the city didn’t use the old junior high property as a site for the proposed rec plex.

During the walk-through Monday, Jackson said the center section of the complex of buildings would have to be demolished due to its condition.

The agenda for Thursday night’s meeting shows a resolution for council members to consider. It would allow Jackson to sign a contract for the purchase of the buildings and property for $50,000 cash, and city clerk Jeff Pratt to attest to the contract’s signing.

School Superintendent Dr. Stewart Pratt said Wednesday that he is working on a sale under contract, although he declined to say who the buyer would be.

Jeff Crockett, former Harrison mayor who purchased the old North Arkansas College Center Campus in 2019, said he had Realtor Roger Turner hand deliver to Harrison Schools a proposed contract to also buy the junior high complex.

He declined to say how much he offered for the purchase, but he did say it was more than the city had offered.

The Daily Times was notified Wednesday afternoon that the Harrison School Board is set to meet at 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, with the sole item on the agenda being consideration of contract and sale of the junior high complex. Pratt said board members will attend remotely.

Other items on the agenda for Thursday night’s meeting City Council agenda include:

  • The city’s 2021 budget.
  • Fence and gate replacement at Public Works.
  • Second reading of an ordinance allowing the city to absorb Parks and Recreation as a formal city department.
  • A resolution for purchase of a street sweeper.

The meeting is set to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday in council chambers on the second floor of City Hall.

The agenda for the meeting said face masks will be required to enter City Hall and health screening will be done. There will only be seats in the gallery for eight to 10 people to attend in person. Once the safe capacity has been reached, no one else will be allowed in City Hall.

However, the meeting will be livestreamed on Facebook, so people who can’t attend in person will be encouraged to watch online.

The public will be able to comment via Facebook live chat or by calling (870) 741-3644. The city clerk will take your call, so please state your name and topic you wish to address. At the appropriate time the clerk will put you live with the council. If you call and get a busy signal, please try again later, the agenda said.

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