Linn State, Lincoln University set to purchase old Jefferson City High School property

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. â?? In early October of this year, Jefferson City Public Schools purchased 115 acres of land just off Highway 179, with intent to build a brand new high school campus,that would house the school's revamped 'academy'-style curriculum.

A big question since then has been what is going to happen to the old high school campus.

On Monday, during a press conference the school district announced that the property would come under the ownership of both Lincoln University and Linn State Technical College.

"We didn't just want to come and say 'give us the opportunity to build a new high school' without having an idea of where it would be, an idea of how would re-purpose existing facilities,â?? said Jefferson City Public School Board President Joy Sweeney. â??So now that we can present that to everyone, we're very excited to move forward, and say this is what we're going to do. This is how we would envision it."

Lincoln University paid almost $8.4 million to attain the majority of the high school campus and Simonsen Ninth Grade Center.

Also included in their purchase was something Lincoln University president Dr. Connie Hamacher says they'll put to good use.

"Lincoln University will get the football stadium in this agreement," said Dr. Hamacher.

Linn State Technical College paid $1.7 million to buy the 92,000 square foot Nichols Career Center, where they plan to house brand new dental, nursing, and radiology programs.

Both Linn State and Lincoln say the decision to purchase the land was a no-brainer.

"When you look at the opportunity for three institutions to do some things to serve students, whether they be high school age, whether they be post- high school age,â?? said Dr. Donald Claycob, President of Linn State Technical College. â??The opportunity to improve the quality of life, and make Jefferson City more attractive for those that might be looking for a place to earn a living; it's a tremendous opportunity.â??

Both colleges also say they plan to work together on certain academic programs.