JASPER — Prior to its meeting last week, the Hamilton County School Board discussed the bids received on four old school properties as well as the bidders’ intentions and uses during a workshop.
Further discussion, and a potential decision, on the properties was tabled at the regular meeting to be continued at the board’s September meeting.
The future of North Hamilton Elementary School stirred the most discussion at the Aug. 12 workshop. Corinth Christian Academy placed a $50,000 bid, as did Hament Patel. Rev. Charles Barnett and the Town of Jennings placed bids but without a monetary value, while the Hamilton Humane Society placed a $6,000 bid for a parcel of the property.
Patel intends to move his grocery store to that location if the bid is accepted.
Corinth Christian, meanwhile, plans to remodel the school and utilize it once again for education. The school also would allow the Jennings Town Hall to remain in its location on the property.
A Jennings resident spoke at the workshop and told the school board that she believed the property being used as a school again would be a great benefit to the town.
Samantha Prueter, a member of the Jennings Town Council, attended the workshop and requested that the current occupants of the school be allowed to stay and maintain the relationships they have built there.
Prueter added the school board could allow Corinth to use the recreational fields and gymnasium for sporting events, rather than Corinth acquiring the property.
The board suggested that the town meet with Corinth prior to the September meeting and see if a solution could be devised that benefited the Jennings community as well town hall and Corinth Christian.
Deerwood Property Group LLC was the top bidder for South Hamilton Elementary, bidding $150,000 for the entire property. During discussion on SHE, the board requested that a Deerwood representative be present at the September meeting to discuss its plans for the property. The bid included two phases of development, the first being an assisted living facility with the second being an RV park.
During the workshop, Suwannee Valley 4 C’s, Bright Pond Baptist Church and James R. Daniels agreed to meet and devise a mutual benefit agreement for the Greenwood School property.
The lone bid received for J.R.E. Lee was from the First Central Baptist Cultural and Training Center, which did not include a monetary value.
In the regular meeting, the board approved a Family Engagement Plan with the hopes of bringing the community together in showing support for the schools and students.
“Paint the County Red” is the theme, which will help encourage school pride throughout Hamilton County on Fridays.