Old South High could be transformed into assisted living facility

Old South High could be transformed into assisted living facility

Posted:
Debris covers many parts of Old South High. Debris covers many parts of Old South High.
There's a gaping hole in part of the roof. There's a gaping hole in part of the roof.
There are also countless broken windows. There are also countless broken windows.

By HANA KIM
Good Morning Tennessee Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- It's been sitting neglected for decades.

But now a potential new owner is promising to turn the former South High School from an eyesore into an assisted living facility to house up to 45 people.

Bahman Kasraei bought the building on a whim during a public auction in early June. "I want to make it a beautiful place for the neighborhood," Kasraei says.

"We're thinking of having a beauty salon for the residents and all kinds of recreational areas,"  Kasraei says.

But Kasraei's architect, Joe Thompson, says the vision is easier said than done. During a walk-through on Monday, he pointed out the extensive water damage, gaping hole in the roof and countless broken windows.

The neglect isn't only expensive to repair, Kasraei and his team will also have to find ways to preserve the historic value of the more than 70-year-old structure.

The building sits on the corner of Tipton Street and Moody Avenue, and it's listed as one of the most endangered and historic buildings in Knox County.

"You're trying to keep the character of the building as close to what it was when you first built the thing," Thompson says.

That means paying close attention to the details, everything from the window frames to the doors. Kasraei says he knows it will be a challenge but one that's worth the effort.

The proposal is still in its early stages and it has to be approved by Knox County Commission before the sale is final.  

If it's approved, the project could take at least a year and close to $2 million. 

County commission is expected to hear the proposal on July 28. 

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