Fayette board must decide fate of Franklin building 3.19

Written by David Green.

When it comes to school facilities in Fayette, the focus is on the new, but don’t forget what will soon be left behind, said superintendent Russell Griggs.

Griggs reminded board of education members Monday that several big decisions lie ahead regarding the disposal of the existing facilities.

“We need to start thinking well in advance of how to dispose of property,” Griggs said, “both buildings and equipment.”

The main set of school buildings in town will be demolished in accordance with the board’s agreement with DH Holdings, the company in charge of cleaning up contamination in the area.

The future of the Franklin building, however, is something for the board to decide.

Griggs suggested that demolition might be the wisest choice because that could alleviate having the structure fall into disrepair and becoming an eyesore.

A potential buyer of the building would have to deal with a faulty water system, the sub-par sewage system and the heating system that needs frequent “patching” to keep it in service.

Board member Kirk Keiser said he’s had a few discussions with people about the building’s future and he’s heard some of them favor demolition.

The board could control who the building is sold to, he said, but it would have no control over what happens to it after it’s sold.

The board is seeking public comment about the issue, but it doesn’t have too long to listen.

Architect Jim Price said that demolition plans should be set by mid-May. Buildings would be torn down in late September or early October.

Griggs pointed out that the state facilities group will pay for 80 percent of Franklin demolition cost if it’s tied in with the other demolition project.

Griggs intends to have public tours of all facilities before they’re torn down to give alumni the opportunity for one last visit.

Regarding school equipment, Griggs told the board that a determination needs to be made of what will be considered surplus and what to do with it.

Material could be sold at auction or sold to a scrap dealer. He’s heard from two local organizations that are interested in certain items.

The existing board policy gives some direction on how to approach the issue, he said, but the board needs to come up with an organized, fair method of disbursing material.

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