Request For Proposals - Giffin School

Giffin SideGiffin ClassroomGiffin AudGiffin Interior 1Giffin StorageGifin Interior 2

Knox Heritage is seeking qualified respondents to purchase, renovate and develop the circa 1920 Giffin Elementary School building located in southeast Knoxville. The location is approximately seven minutes from downtown and four minutes from Ijams Nature Center and the South Knoxville Urban Wilderness Trail System. The school is located in the single-family residential neighborhood known as South Haven and is adjacent to Baker Creek and Mary James Park.

The land for a new school was donated to the city of Knoxville by Mr. Andy Giffin and construction began in 1919. Giffin Elementary School was completed in three phases, beginning with the Barber and McMurry Architects design in 1920 and ending with the Rutherford and Painter Architects 1950 addition. The school building size grew in response to residential growth in its area.

In 1975, the Giffin Elementary School received an award for being one of the few schools in Tennessee to have a continuous PTA for fifty years or more, a highlight of the strong community connection between the school, its staff and its students. Another interesting fact is that the1950 expansion was likely one of architect Bruce McCarty’s first projects after graduating from school and returning to Knoxville. Bruce McCarty is known for his legacy of modern architecture in Knoxville, reflected in the modern lines of the school’s mid-twentieth century addition.

Development Objectives

Knox Heritage is seeking a buyer (“respondent”) for the Giffin School who has a vision for the development of the building that blends well with the surrounding community, a reasonable timeframe for completing the renovations and the financial resources needed to complete a successful project. The building will require substantial investment to maximize the use of all spaces. The process to determine National Register eligibility has been started. The selected respondent will be expected to remedy any structural deficiencies, replace or repair mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and construct any other improvements required to meet current building codes. All rehabilitation work must be consistent with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. An environmental assessment of the building has been completed and is available upon request.

Purchase Price

Knox Heritage, pending acquisition from Knox County, will consider purchase offers beginning at $25,000 when accompanied with a qualifying proposal.

Submittal Deadline, Review and Selection

All proposals must be submitted no later than Monday, April 27, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. A pre-submittal meeting and building tour is available upon request.

Knox Heritage reserves the right to reject a proposal submitted in response to this request. This Request for Proposals does not constitute acceptance of any offer.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation of the submittals will focus on the capability of the respondent and strength of the proposal. For the complete Request for Proposals, including evaluation criteria, please download the Giffin School RFP in PDF format or request a copy from the contact below.


Todd Morgan
Director of Preservation Field Services

Phone: 865.685.5958

Mailing Address:

Knox Heritage
P.O. Box 1242
Knoxville, Tennessee 37901

Physical Location:

Historic Westwood
3425 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919