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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs announces plans for the redevelopment of Rule High School

After sitting abandoned for 30 years, Rule High School is receiving some much needed TLC.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Rule High School, former home of the Golden Bears, opened as an elementary and junior high school in the fall of 1927. 

It was named after Captain William Rule, a former Union Army captain, mayor of Knoxville and editor of the Knoxville Journal.

Despite multiple additions to the school, it closed in 1991 due to low enrollment numbers. 

However, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs announced on June 3 that the county is beginning the formal process for the sale and redevelopment of the abandoned high school. 

The property was acquired by Knox County as a surplus property in 2016. Today, the property still houses the Knox County Schools' maintenance division. 

"The fact that the school has been vacant for so long has, sadly, result in serious degradation of the building," Jacobs said. "It's time for someone to breathe new life into the property." 

In 2019, Jacobs said that trying to renovate the building is out of the question. 

"It's not worth trying to even have that conversation, it would be millions and millions of dollars just to get started on it." 

The Request for Proposals (RFP) will be released by the Knox County Purchasing Department on June 4. 

According to the RFP, uses for the property could include affordable senior housing and continued civic use. 

The Rule High site is bordered by Knoxville's Community Development Corporation (KCDC) and lies fully within the City of Knoxville. Knox County has been in conversation with KCDC and city officials.

The question deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 25 and the submission deadline is 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 8. 

10News featured Rule High School in its Abandoned Places series. You can read about it here or watch below. 

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