DELBARTON – At the Delbarton City Council meeting Monday, Oct. 26, Delbarton Mayor John Preece and members of the council discussed potential options for the future of Delbarton Elementary School when it is vacated after the 2015- 2016 school year.
Preece opened the discussion saying, “The Board of Education (BOE) feels that the Delbarton Elementary School property will be vacated by the next school term. The town is in a position to receive that property if the town is interested in it and there are no other legal requirements on the BOE. To my way of thinking, that is a valuable piece of property that has the potential for many things. We want to consider the downside as well. I ask the council to discuss what your feelings would be in regards to that property. It isn’t available at the moment but it is something to think about.”
Councilman Ralph Maynard discussed the possibility of transforming the property into a drug rehabilitation center. “It would make a great place for a substance abuse center. Every month, someone you know has overdosed. Where it is located, it would serve well in this area. It is a money making thing all the way. Everybody has to have treatment. They will have to put one somewhere. There are other potentials too. That is just a thought. It is needed and there will be grants and money coming in to take care of it.
Councilman Joe Crum discussed the downsides associated with taking over the property. He referred to the old Burch High School that the city of Delbarton already has.
“I would love to have the property. It is a choice piece of property. If we took it, the first thing that would happen as soon as they turned the power off and we locked the doors is vandalism. If we had some sort of guarantee that someone is going to take it that would be good. If not, how many years down the road are we going to be nursing it? All of the floors are concrete. If you made offices in there, the concrete would have to be busted and new sewer and water systems installed. If you are going to get money to fix it up, that would be great, but for us to take that over right now with the one we got already in our lap up here, I would have to see more than what I see right now,” Crum said.
Councilman Mark Sizemore spoke next saying, “I understand what Ralph is saying. This rehab thing is probably going to be a big deal but until we have something concrete I wouldn’t want to take it.”
“If we can get a grant it would be great. This would be the center of the county. It would be the ideal place for it,” Crum said.
Preece responded saying, “I think we need to explore the options that we have and explore how real they could be. They are probably eight or ten months away from moving but I think we need to consider the whole thing.”
The next Delbarton City Council meeting will be Nov. 9 at 5 p.m.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)