Close to two months after offering the former Francisco Elementary School building to the Stokes County Board of Commissioners, the county school board is responding to two questions about the facility recently sent to them by one commissioner.
The questions asked how urgent a decision on the facility is, and if the school board had any plans for it if the commissioners did not choose to take ownership of the property.
“We want to let the community know something as soon as possible,” responded School Board Chair Sonya Cox on Monday. “We don’t have a set plan, but the one thing we have discussed is we would like the community to have the building.”
Several school board members questioned why the county board of commissioners had not addressed the issue yet.
County Manager Rick Morris told the board that commissioners are doing their own “individual due diligence” on the matter and talking to people in the community.
“They have had lots of other issues on the table in the recent past,” he said.
School board attorney Fred Johnson said the school system was in a holding pattern until it got a response from the commissioners.
“We are trying to fulfill the statutory requirements,” he said, noting that legally the school board could not consider any plans for the facility until they knew whether or not the county would take ownership of it.
Cox noted that the school system is currently spending money every month to maintain the facility.
“We are maintaining air and water and heat at the bare minimum levels so the building does not develop any problems with pipes leaking or mold,” she said. “This is costing us money right now.”
“Long-term the facility is sitting there and we need to make a decision relatively quickly so whoever takes it over does not have to spend a lot of money repairing it,” agreed school board member Jamie Yontz.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.