July 22, 2014 - 18:56
Ducktown School discussed
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A group of former students and educators from Ducktown School met with members of the Fourth Fractional Township Saturday July 5th to get a report on what was being done with the school.

A group of former students and educators from Ducktown School met with members of the Fourth Fractional Township Saturday July 5th to get a report on what was being done with the school. David Talley, who went to the school beginning in the first grade, organized the event.

David Talley said he didn’t arrange the meeting for any political reasons, he just wanted to get everyone together after several of his classmates talked with him about the school. He said he saw Mike Bell and Chuck Fleischmann at the breakfast for Miner’s Homecoming earlier in the day and both said if anything got going at the school they would support the efforts. Talley said they both said they would do what they could to help with grants if needed.

Ducktown Mayor James Talley said the school was very important to the community, referring to it as a “crown jewel.” He said the Fourth Fractional Township had done its best to keep it in tact and he hoped something could be done with it that fit in with the downtown revitalization efforts.

Fourth Fractional Township Board Member and Third District County Commissioner Daren Waters told listeners there was a group that had expressed interest in the building for about three years. He said they had gotten a $50,000 grant for an architectural study that had been completed. Waters said he was glad to hear there was support from the Senator and Congressman for grants.

Waters told the crowd a roof had been put on the building four years ago. He said when he came onto the Board, the Township was paying for 24-hour security, but was costing them about $100,000 a year. He said it was stopped about six years ago and they were now using surveillance. Waters said they keep water and electricity to the building.

“We are all extremely interested in preserving the building,” Waters said. “We’re not paid to be on the Township, we do it because we care about the community, and we do our best.”

Fourth Fractional Township Board Treasurer Craig Green said they were doing their best, commenting they tried to look into getting the windows replaced but the company they spoke to did not want to take the job because of cost and effort. He said the Township was using its money to help students.

Green said they had entertained about ten potential buyers since he had been on the Township. He said they appreciated any and all ideas and help given to them from the community.

Fourth Fractional Township Member and Ducktown City Commissioner Doug Collins said he had only been on the board for two years but had been a city commission for eleven years and had heard many ideas of what to do. He said an economic feasibility study was done that said it would take about $8 million to get the building up to code, so anyone who comes in will have that to face. He said grants were hard to come by and most of them were a 50/50 match, so someone would have to come up with the rest of the money.

After the informal gathering, visitors mingled and talked with Township members. Waters said insurance regulations would not allow the group to tour the building, but it could probably be worked out for individuals to go inside.

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