Halls Ferry school building to be razed for development

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 18, 2002

[06/18/02]The Halls Ferry school building will be torn down as part of private redevelopment of that area and, according to a site plan, may eventually have a 50,000-square-foot retailing center built where the school has stood for 50 years.

The school land, at Vicksburg’s busiest intersection, was purchased by Ergon Properties in February from the Vicksburg Warren School District for $451,599.

It was identified as key to a Home Depot-centered development and the plan filed at City Hall shows how the 7-acre site, along with lands east of Hall Ferry Park, fit in the $17.7 million project.

“We are going forward with the development and it is anticipated that the school will be demolished,” said Jim Defoe of Ergon.

Defoe did not say when he expected the building will be torn down, but the site plan shows a a facility there which, for comparison purposes, is about one-fourth the size of a Wal-Mart SuperCenter.

Halls Ferry was one of five elementaries closed when two new complexes when Dana Road and Sherman Avenue elementaries opened in the fall of 1999. Defoe said there are no definite plans for the site, but plans at City Hall show a 50,000-square-foot center is contemplated.

“We’re working on some shopping center-type deals right now,” Defoe said.

The Home Depot store, to be to the north on the site, will be part of the national chain’s outlets for home repair, remodeling and decorating goods. The nearest Home Depot, in west Jackson, is about 150,000 square feet.

Other improvements for the development include installing a traffic signal on South Frontage Road, construction of a second entrance to Halls Ferry Park, which will provide access to the Home Depot on the site, and straightening the current entrance to the park.