Tupelo mulls purchase of old Salvation Army building

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The city might purchase and renovate the Salvation Army’s vacant recreational facility to house its successful Police Athletic League and give it space to grow.

It would cost $232,000 to buy the building and an additional $600,000 to renovate it, according to figures provided by Mayor Jack Reed Jr. during a presentation Tuesday at City Hall.

The 17,000-square-foot building behind the Link Centre has sat vacant since a sour economy forced the Salvation Army to end its after-school program. The nonprofit offered to sell it to Tupelo below its appraised price of $300,000 to unload the property from its books. It will invest the sale’s revenues into expanding its homeless shelter.

If the City Council approves the project, the PAL program will move into the building and expand its offerings. Started in 2006, PAL currently occupies an 8,500-square-foot facility on Robert E. Lee Drive but has quickly outgrown that space.

Program Director Sgt. Michael Russell said he could quadruple the number of children who participate in activities there.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s Daily Journal.