City of Canton signs agreement to purchase former Canton High School Building

The Mayor and Council of the City of Canton signed an agreement last night to purchase the historic Canton High School/Building C property from the Cherokee County Board of Education. This purchase includes the building, restored over a decade ago by the Cherokee School District, as well as the parking surrounding the building and an additional parking lot at the corner of Archer Street and West Marietta/Church Street with 62 parking spaces that would be preserved for public parking.

The newly acquired building will be repurposed as the new Canton City Hall. The facility has been well-maintained by the Cherokee School District and includes room for future departmental growth. The building contains one of the best public meeting rooms in the County in the former Canton High School Auditorium, most recently used as the District's Board Auditorium.

“Once again the City of Canton has preserved and will repurpose a historic building in our downtown. This purchase not only helps preserve the historic character of our City but also provides essential space for our City government as the demands of our growing population continue to increase,” said Canton Mayor Gene Hobgood.

The City of Canton listed out several downtown projects as part of the SPLOST VII funding cycle. Of these, three specific projects are addressed through the purchase of the former Canton High School/Building C property:

  • Create a Police Department facility that will allow the agency to grow, provides additional security features for city personnel and resources, and keeps the Police Department in the heart of the City.
  • Look for property to preserve and expand parking options for the historic downtown commercial district.
  • Preserve historic resources in the downtown area to maintain the integrity of the City's heritage.

The current City Hall, located at 151 Elizabeth Street, was beautifully preserved by the City when it was purchased from First Baptist Church of Canton over a decade ago. This facility will receive slight remodels and serve as a new City of Canton Public Safety and Municipal Court Building. Canton Police operations will move from approximately 10,000 square feet located in the old post office on East Marietta Street to a building with nearly 30,000 feet. These projects will be paid for utilizing funds from the SPLOST VII approved by voters last November, which included nearly $7 million for General Government Buildings.

The former Police Department building on East Marietta Street will be repurposed in the coming months, though no announcement is currently ready. The parking around this facility, nearly 40 spaces, will be opened to the public for additional public parking that is more accessible to downtown restaurants and shops.

Along with the development agreement for the project at the former Grammar School and Mill Office on Academy Street, these moves will grow and preserve an additional 250 publicly available parking spaces on the southern side of downtown.