JASPER — The Hamilton County School Board has reached a deal on the last of the four old properties it was looking to sell.
After previously awarding Greenwood, J.R.E. Lee and South Hamilton Elementary to bidders, the school board met in a Sept. 24 special meeting to discuss the North Hamilton Elementary property.
During that meeting, the school board unanimously approved the property being awarded to Corinth Christian Academy and the Town of Jennings. The two entities met the week prior to come to a mutual agreement on the old school and presented their agreement to the school board.
School Board member Gary Godwin voiced a concern about having a right of first refusal in the agreement to give the other entity the chance to take over the entire property should a situation arise in the future.
Vernon Douglas and Sara Carter, school board attorneys, though, said it wasn’t the school board’s job to place restrictions on that agreement due to the bid process. Carter said Corinth Christian and the town may wish to do that on their own, though.
Saul Speights, the board member from District 3, asked that Corinth Christian be patient with the current occupants of the property, allowing them time to find new locations for their operations.
Dennis Music, a representative from Corinth Christian, said that shouldn’t be an issue. He said the school wouldn’t be looking to move into the property until the start of the next school year, which would also allow time for renovations on the property.
Music said as long as the current tenants may the payments on the utilities they are using, CCA doesn’t have an issue with them staying until they can find places to relocate.
The Town of Jennings, which already has been using the property for its town hall and police department, will continue to be housed there as part of the agreement with CCA.
During the bid process, Corinth Christian bid $50,000 for the property with plans to remodel the school and use it for education once again.
The Town of Jennings was among the other bidders for the property, but did not include a monetary value on its bid.
The board had already unanimously approved for J.R.E. Lee to go to the First Central Baptist Cultural and Training Center and Rev. JT (Billy) Simon, which has been utilizing the building already. There was no monetary value in First Central’s bid.
The board also unanimously approved Deerwood Property Group LLC obtaining South Hamilton Elementary in White Springs with an agreement in place between Deerwood and Rhett Bullard for a one-acre parcel of the property. Deerwood bid $150,000 for the school. Its plans included two phases of development, the first being an assisted living facility with the second being an RV park.
The Greenwood School property was approved to go to James R. Daniels, who has agreements in place with the Suwannee Valley 4 C’s and Bright Pond Baptist Church for use of the school. All three had placed bids and the board had instructed them previously to devise a mutual benefit agreement. Daniels’ bid was for $26,500.