City of Selma sells Byrd Elementary

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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The Selma City Council agreed to sell Byrd Elementary School to Rhaglan Hospitality LLC  during aTuesday night meeting.

Council member Clay Carmichael sees an opportunity to make money off the old Byrd Elementary School building.

“Byrd is historic and way gone after the last couple of storms (Hurricane Zeta and January 12 tornado), which came after years of neglect,’ Carmichael said. “We have the opportunity to turn a liability, upwards of $1 million just to stabilize into a private asset that we will collect revenues from and providing housing for working people, while saving a historic structure from eventual collapse.”

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Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. agreed with the move.

“It’s a big plus because we need housing,” Perkins said.

City of Selma Planning and Development Director Danielle Wooten spoke briefly about the Byrd School and also supports the decision.

The entire council was present for Tuesday’s meeting: President Billy Young, council members Carmichael, Jannie Thomas,, Atkin Jemison, Michael Johnson, Troy Harvill, Christie Thomas, Sam Randolph and Lesia James.

Seven members voted to approve the sale: Carmichael, Young, Harvill, Jemison, Jannie Thomas, Christie Thomas, Randolph. James abstained. Johnson left the meeting when the voting took place.

The Selma City School Board of Education voted to close Byrd First Class Learning Center four years ago.

Carmichael also said that the developer has agreed to have meetings with the neighborhood to talk about creating community based aspects for the development.