​School Board Approves Sherwood Property Deed Change

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Jan. 14 meeting, the Franklin County School Board approved amending the deed that granted the Sherwood community use of the old elementary school site for a community center. The school board also authorized use of $100,000 in budgeted funds to begin construction of a bus garage.
In December, Don Spanos, plant manager at Lhoist, a Sherwood crushed stone manufacturer, addressed the board about Lhoist taking the lead in refurbishing or rebuilding the Crow Creek Community Center located at the former Sherwood Elementary School site. The building’s leaking roof made it unsuitable for community use. The deed stipulates the Sherwood community can use the property only for a community center and if the community failed to properly maintain the site Franklin County Schools could take the property back.
Lhoist’s attorneys recommended removing the paragraph about revoking permission to use the property if the site wasn’t properly maintained.
“That could mean something minor as the grass not being mowed after we spent a lot of money fixing it up,” Spanos speculated. But Spanos acknowledged, “I’m not that concerned about the school board taking it back. If we don’t get the change in the deed, that won’t stop me. I want to get the building usable for the community.”
Thirty Sherwood area residents attended a Dec. 18 meeting to discuss the community center’s future. Opinion leaned toward tearing the building down and using the foundation for a new structure, Spanos said.
“The community center board voted six to zero in favor of tearing the building down,” said District 5, Seat A commissioner Johnny Hughes, who represents the Sherwood area.
The school board agreed to the deed revision, and authorized Director of Schools Stanley Bean to sign the document so the project could move forward.
“We want to get moving on it as soon as the weather improves,” Spanos said.
The board also approved Transportation Director Mark Montoye’s request to begin construction of a bus garage with the $100,000 allocated for that purpose in the 2018-2019 budget. Montoye estimated the total cost at $200,000-$250,000.
“Having a bus garage will save us money in the long run,” Montoye said. “We have to sub out our oil changes and all our mechanic work.”
The 5,600-square-foot prefab metal building will have two bays and be located on the old Franklin County High School lot.
By “doing the work ourselves” rather than hiring a contractor, Montoye projected the school system would save $50,000 or more.
Updating the board on the proposed new middle schools, Bean said he recently consulted with school principals about furnishing the STEM labs, bus traffic, and location of security cameras.
Addressing a question about security at the new schools, construction manager Gary Clardy said, “All the main doors will allow access only by entry card or FOB, no keys. There will be plenty of security cameras. The courtyards will be boxed off, and you’ll only be able to access the main part of the school by coming through the office. There are no classroom doors to the outside, since the buildings are fully sprinkled for fire protection. The new schools will be far more secure than anything else you have in the county.”