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By Josh Peterson, Editor
In another step closer to constructing a new middle school on State Route 53, the Coffee County School Board has purchased a small piece of land now commonly known as the “Holmes property” for $77,000.
The Holmes property, which sits between where the proposed middle school will be built and State Route 53 (Woodbury Highway), was an essential purchase for the school system to be able to add New Union Elementary School to the new sewer line that will be available and to straighten the entrance to the new school.
“Coupled with some easements given to us from some folks, it will allow us to run a sewer from New Union School and hook on to the sewer at the middle school,” explained deputy director of schools Joe Pedigo.
In October, the school board voted to increase the amount of money it was willing to spend on the Holmes land to the appraised value – which was $98,700 for roughly three-quarters of an acre and a duplex that is on the property. At auction on Nov.26, the school system was able to come away with the property for $77,000. The board received the deed on Dec. 5 according to public documents obtained by the Manchester Times.
At its monthly meeting Monday afternoon, the board voted 7-0 to declare the duplex located on the property as surplus and will soon put a bid out to have it sold and removed from the property.
“There is a potential to have a small amount of money [by selling it],” said school board member Reggie Johnson, who indicated he had been contacted by interested individuals. “Whatever it is will be regained money.”
Director of Schools Dr. LaDonna McFall said she wasn’t sure what kind of money the duplex would bring to the system’s coffers.
“It’s a shot in the dark,” she said, adding that she wasn’t aware of the condition of the interior of the building.
Pedigo sent an email to the school system’s architects for a deadline to have the building removed. Once a deadline is agreed upon, the school system will put a request for sealed bids in the newspaper.
“They will let us know when it needs to be moved,” said Pedigo.
Although the property was not necessary to build the new middle school, it does help straighten the driveway and, according to Pedigo, opens future opportunity at New Union Elementary.
“Right now New Union is on several septic tanks and field lines,” he said. “It is on so many field lines that if we decided to build on it would be hard finding a place without getting on a field line.”
Read more in next week’s (Dec. 19) print edition of the Manchester Times.
-Josh Peterson can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org