Students start to school this week at the University of Memphis Lambuth campus. The collapse of Lambuth University, a private, four-year school in Jackson — and its transition to public — hands has been well-documented by the Jackson Sun, which reports today that the piper is calling:
A group of unsecured creditors is seeking legal representation from Milan attorney Stephen L. Hughes in Lambuth University’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection case. …
According to court documents filed Aug. 3, Lambuth has more than $9 million in total debt.
The hometown paper’s editorial board has put a positive spin on the transition to the University of Memphis, predicting it “will be a game changer” in terms of local economic development.
The city of Jackson, Madison County, West Tennessee Healthcare, and the Jackson Energy Authority agreed this summer to purchase the campus for $7.9 million, then turn the campus over to the state Board of Regents.
The state budget included $11 million over three years to “to help subsidize the University of Memphis’ operating expenses while developing the Lambuth campus,” the AP reported. If this Tennessean report is a clue, the bill is likely to grow:
The University of Memphis faces $3.5 million in “near-term” costs for safety repairs and access for the disabled, and $15 million in longer-term maintenance at the Lambuth University campus, a state report issued Thursday concludes.
That money is above and beyond funding already pledged by the state and other sources.