The City Council on Tuesday night approved rezoning for the old Brainerd Junior High School property, and developer W.O. Helton said he is already at work fixing up the stately school that was designed by famed Chattanooga architect R.H. Hunt.
Mr. Helton said he has already restored power and water to two of the three buildings on Cherryton Drive just off Brainerd Road. He said he hopes to get the third building back with water and power soon.
He said he is still sorting through ideas for reuse of the former school buildings last operated as the 21st Century Preparatory School before being shuttered several years ago.
Mr. Helton, who earlier transformed the old John P. Franklin Middle School in Alton Park, said, "There have been 400-500 ideas pass across my desk."
He said one use may be for after-school activities, including programs that are not offered at the public schools.
A couple of churches have approached him about ideas for reuse, he said.
He said there is the possibility that the county schools might want to lease some of the space. He said the gym is now full of used school furniture, but that is being moved out.
He noted there is a stadium at the site that could be put to use.
Mr. Helton said when he took over the property it had been heavily damaged. "Vandals were making waste of it," he said.
Restrictions include no access to Shawnee Trail, no dumpster activity and no trucks except between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., and lighting that is directed down and away from nearby homes.