It was announced this week that six Memphis city schools will be closed because of the low student occupancy. One of the schools is the former Humes High School that Elvis, Marty Lacker and Red West attended back in the 50's. For the past decade or more it was changed to Humes Middle School and no longer a high school. Humes, on the National Register of Historic Places for famous graduate Elvis Presley, is the face of an exodus in North Memphis running its course since the '80s when International Harvester, Kimberly-Clark and Firestone left town.
Like Elvis, Humes once served students who lived in densely populated public housing development. By 1999, fewer than half of the 450 units at Hurt Village were occupied; at Lauderdale Courts, the fraction was much smaller. As early as last spring, Cash anticipated Humes would be closed or repurposed. The sixth grade was moved to Gordon this fall, taking 140 students. Marty Lacker commented to EIN that.. "The Mayor announced that the plans for the building will be changed to a school for the performing arts. How fitting is that."