EASLEY — The School District of Pickens County and the City of Easley have reached a set of property agreements, headlined by a plan to move the Adult Education Center to West End Hall.
The district expects the move to save $449,000 over the next ten years.
The city will allow the district to use available space at West End Hall to house the Adult Education Center, which is currently located in the former Northside Elementary building at 106 Glazner Street. The district has also agreed to gift the Glazner Street Property to the city, with the understanding it may potentially be the future home of the Lakes and Bridges Charter School for dyslexic children.
As part of the agreement, SDPC came to terms with the City of Easley on a 10-year Tax Increment Finance (TIF) agreement, which would allow the city to keep up to $50,000 in annual tax revenue from properties in the downtown Easley area which would otherwise go to the school district.
“The district benefits from this deal financially and educationally,” said Dr. Danny Merck, SDPC superintendent. “The Northside building is costly for us to maintain from year to year and it was scheduled for significant repairs in the next five years. Moving Adult Education to West End Hall more than compensates for the revenue we give up for the TIF.
“Educationally, we see several benefits from the move. West End Hall houses the United Way of Pickens County, which already has a partnership with Adult Education, and we expect that partnership to flourish at the new location. Lakes and Bridges Charter School is a project that has had our full support, as it fills a need in our county for students who learn differently. We have been working with them for several months to find a viable location and we hope they will be very successful at Northside.”
The city and the school district also entered into an agreement regarding the athletic fields at Gettys Middle School and Easley High School. The Easley Recreation Department will be able to use Brice Field at Gettys and the Easley High School athletic facilities for events when they are not being used by the school and will have the responsibility for maintaining the grounds, with the exception of the EHS baseball field.
The district will upgrade the facilities at Brice Field to include a scoreboard, improved restroom facilities, a press box and other upgrades to accommodate people with disabilities.
“Brice Field will be the new home for Easley High School’s soccer games, and it’s a great location for youth soccer events. The field may be used for middle school football games and jamborees as well,” Merck said. “Brice Field has a huge place in the history of Easley High athletics, and it’s an excellent venue. We are very excited that it will be a place for the community to gather in again.”
The move of Adult Education to West End Hall and the upgrades to Brice Field are scheduled to be completed by the start of the 2018-2019 school year.