Stakeholders Say Lambuth Bankruptcy a Real Possibility
With exactly two weeks before Lambuth University closes its doors for good, local stakeholders trying to buy the campus said a seamless transitions of ownership is in serious jeopardy. According to Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist, Lambuth University’s largest creditor, bond company Radian Assurance did not budge in the $5.3 million dollars it is owed. The stakeholders, including the city, county, JEA and West Tennessee Healthcare have offered Lambuth a total of $5.9 million, which will not cover all of Lambuth’s debts. Mayor Gist said further delay in reaching a deal could force Lambuth into bankruptcy. He told ABC 7 Eyewitness News, that could add months to finalizing the deal and leave the campus abandoned. “We are planning on obviously increasing our law enforcement presence around the campus to protect it, and protect the citizens that live close to it,” said Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist. “Bankruptcy’s are sometimes drug out because there is no buyer for the facility. In this case, obviously they already have a buyer, and it can go fairly quickly or it could last several months. JEA will cut off all utilities because if the debt that is owed. The bond insurer is holding steady to what they are owed without going into negotiation. All utilities will be cut off at the end of June.” Late Thursday afternoon, Lambuth’s Board of Trustees chairman, Michael Keeney told ABC 7 Eyewitness News discussions continue to move forward as they evaluate all options. He added the board believes having the University of Memphis utilize the campus would be a great benefit for the community.