After seven years of leasing space for its worship services, Highpoint Church has acquired Briarcrest Christian School Systems Inc.’s at 6000 Briarcrest Ave. property for $7.25 million.
The purchase allows 10-year-old Highpoint to finally own its own facility, while Briarcrest will benefit from a long-term leaseback for its preschool and elementary students. The East Memphis school spans 170,000 square feet and sits on 16 acres.
The lease on Highpoint’s offices and mailing address at 6740 Reese Road runs out in January, and the church will start gradually transitioning into its owner-occupied space as soon as possible, said lead pastor Chris Conlee.
“We’ve got a full plan to comprehensively renovate the facility over the next five years,” Conlee said. “With it being an elementary school, probably the first thing we want to renovate is the restrooms, but we will be renovating the auditorium, the exterior and interior. Hopefully, five years from now, instead of it being a 40-year-old school, it’ll be a state-of-the-art facility that really complements our vision well.”
Briarcrest will use the proceeds of the sale for partial construction costs of its new 35,000-square-foot Dr. Willard R. Sparks Chapel and Performing Arts Center at the Houston Levee campus, 76 S. Houston Levee Road, in Eads. Briarcrest opened its high school there in 2003 and added middle school facilities in 2009, said Briarcrest director of communications Beth Rooks.
The 1,000-seat facility will feature a full theatrical stage, back stage holding areas, full dressing rooms, set workshop, orchestra pit, an informal art gallery, and additional classrooms and practice rooms for the performing arts.
The addition will also be the new home of Briarcrest’s administrative offices – including the admissions, business affairs, communications, development and information technology departments – as well as the headmaster’s and president’s offices.
Fleming and Associates Architects P.C. is the architect and Linkous Construction Co. is the contactor. Construction should begin in the next few weeks.
“With the construction of the Sparks Chapel, we will see the fulfillment of a vision held by previous Boards of Trustees for the past 15 years,” said Mark Merrill, Briarcrest president.