A Jackson County community is trying to figure out what to do with the old Paint Rock Valley School building. The building has been sitting empty since the school shut down nearly one year ago, but community members and the county commission are trying to give the building a second chance.
"It would be great for a private school," Billy Cagle, a Paint Rock Valley School graduate, said.
Cagle lives and works across the street from the old building. He graduated from the school in the 1950s and loves his community, but he knows another school is a long shot.
"I just don't see it feasible to bus the kids in from other places. They'd have to bring their own students in, because there's really no places to buy or rent up here," Cagle said.
According to Chairman Tim Guffey, the Jackson County Commission will select a five-person board that will decide the building's fate and how to pay for it. Loretta Harris, a Paint Rock Valley School graduate, thinks they've got their work cut out for them.
"It would take a lot of effort and a lot of money for anybody to be able to come in and keep it going and keep it in the shape that it was in," Harris said.
Harris and her sisters all graduated from Paint Rock Valley School. It's also where she worked and retired from. She wants to remember her alma mater for what it was.
"It's a large school and it's so nice and everything. The last time I walked out of it, it was just perfect," Harris said.
Since the building is owned by the Jackson County Board of Education, they'll be the ones to approve or deny any future plans.
"It's going to have to be creative for sure," Cagle said.
The next step to determine the fate of the old school building happens at the Jackson County courthouse on Monday. That's when the county commission will discuss the applications to be on the board. The county commission will vote on board members the Monday after the discussion, which is the 25th.
Once there's a plan in place, school board superintendent Kevin Dukes said no more tax dollars will go toward building upkeep.