By Russell Hood
The Webster Progress-Times
The historic Wood College campus in Mathiston and some of the surrounding land are on the market.
The Golden Triangle Planning and Development District, which has owned the property for five years, has listed it with Tom Smith Land and Homes. The listed price for the main 35-acre campus is $2.5 million. Eight undeveloped parcels of adjacent land totaling about 175 acres are being sold off in lots.
The property has been listed since late May on the real estate agency’s website, and the GTPDD has posted information about its availability on its website and Facebook page.
“There has been interest in it for drug rehabilitation, mental health clinics, Christian retreats, police/fire academy and it could be utilized for what it was built originally, a school,” reads some of the information in the TSLH listing. It notes that the campus qualifies for historic preservation monies as well as tax credits of up to 25 percent.
Wood College, which opened as Woodland Seminary 130 years ago, closed in 2003. The campus buildings housed Wood Institute until it was discontinued in 2008.
Tenhet Real Estate advertised the property for sale in January 2011 and the GTPDD bought it that April from the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.
Comprising the purchase were all buildings, equipment, land and houses that made up the college, totaling 400 acres. That included about 245 acres inside the Mathiston city limits that had been leased to the Methodists. Specifically, the agency bought four rental properties, the president’s home, six administration buildings, three dormitories and two maintenance facilities.
Only weeks after the sale closed, a tornado destroyed East Webster High School. The Wood campus escaped with little structural damage, and East Webster students and staff were relocated there until returning in late October 2013 to the new high school built in Cumberland.
The Webster County Emergency Operations Center, including 911 operations, is housed in the newest building on the Wood campus. Additionally, according to TSLH’s website, some other buildings are being used for a gym, gymnastics and weddings.
Holmes Community College will be offering full-term day and evening classes on the Mathiston campus beginning Aug. 15.