Pike BOE snubs offer for old Post Office

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 15, 2000

Staff Writer

Feb. 14, 2000 10 PM

The Pike County Chamber of Commerce’s Downtown Revitalization Committee is $40,000 short as far as the Pike County Board of Education is concerned.

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During the Board of Education’s meeting Monday night, members agreed to accept the appraised value of $90,000 for the old post office building downtown, declining the Chamber committee’s offer of $50,000 for the historic building.

Board member Wyman Botts said he "wouldn’t have a problem taking $90,000," but didn’t think the board should accept less than that since the school system is in dire need of money.

Chamber President Marsha Gaylard said the $50,000 was set because "we knew we could raise that" amount.

"I wouldn’t have a problem donating $150,000 because I know your needs," Gaylard said to the board.

Superintendent John Key said he could not "consciously" recommend putting more money into the building to keep it from deteriorating further, knowing the needs of the school system.

However, he said the idea of using the building for the fine arts is a good one and supports the concept.

The Chamber is applying for a $250,000 grant through the Alabama Arts Council which would be used to renovate the facility. That grant, which has to be turned in by March 1, will be in the Board of Education’s name.

"This is a worthy cause," Key said. "If we had the money, we’d give it to you."

The Chamber is proposing that if a reasonable offer could be made for the building, the Board of Education could deed the building to the city of Troy. The Chamber is hopeful the city will be able to obtain a grant for arts and humanities, that would pay to convert the building into a center for the arts.

In other business, the board:

· Rescinded previous action on the disposition of Pleasant Ridge property, which is in the State of Alabama’s name. Sale of the property has to go through the Department of Conservation.

· Named board vice president Norman Chandler and Earnest Green to the Alabama Association of School Boards Network.

· Approved Jondy Spivey, Mike Johnson and Eddie Boutwell to attend required asbestos training in Tarpon Springs, Fla. the week of Mar. 20-24.

· Approved a request by Homer Sneed for reinstatement of sick leave days charged against him following an on-the-job injury.

· Granted maternity leave to Hope Balkcom between Feb. 1 and Apr. 10 from her position as a science teacher at Pike County High School.

· Voted to give $500 to the girls softball teams at Goshen and Pike County High Schools. The money will be used to replace equipment.