Fayette BoE sets surplus school sale policy

What is to become of the vacant schools closed in Fayetteville, Brooks and Tyrone at the end of last school year? The Fayette County Board of Education on Monday addressed that issue and adopted guidelines for selling or leasing the closed facilities.

The guidelines have the school board determining the best use for the schools and whether that use works better for governmental or private endeavors.

Guidelines suggest that the lease or sale of an unoccupied facility is something the school board should view in terms of the return the arrangement will bring. If the school board does not take the highest amount of compensation, then it should be prepared to justify its position, according to the guidelines.

The only action Monday night came when the school board voted unanimously to obtain appraisals and other needed information to establish the fair market value of the vacated schools and, potentially, the central office building.

The appraisal should provide the fair market value if the facility is to be sold.

Superintendent Jody Barrow said unidentified parties had expressed an interest in one or more of the school facilities.

If a facility is to be leased, the school board should decide on factors such as the monetary amount and length of the lease and the cost of making the properties ready for lease.

Guidelines also note that board members should weigh the cost associated with renting or selling a facility and that the board determine what is in the best interest of the community.

As for the four schools closed at the end of June, Fayetteville Intermediate, Brooks Elementary and Tyrone Elementary currently sit idle though there has been some talk about the Tyrone facility serving as a potential business incubator.

The remaining school closed in June was Fayette Middle School. Though board members were unaware until late July, the alternative school, Mainstay and Open Campus High School programs had already moved to FMS.

Rivers Elementary School was sold earlier in September to a development group associated with building Pinewood Atlanta Studios.