January 17, 2014
To the editor:
I am disappointed the Pickens County School board voted against selling the abandoned Gettys Middle School for $300,000. Legacy charter school was going to buy the school and renovate it for the students of Easley.
Even trustee Judy Edwards said the school district should keep the school because it may be needed in the future for another school. Legacy would have given Easley that extra school Edwards talked about, at no cost to the taxpayers of Pickens County.
This is what Legacy did in Greenville. Their non-profit organization funded the purchase and renovations to Legacy Parker and Legacy Elementary and these schools now serve 1,100 low income students on the west side of Greenville.
This plan was embraced by the Greenville School Board and those students at-risk of dropping out are now scoring better on standard tests with a rising graduation rate.
I can’t see why Edwards, Jim Shelton, Ben Trotter and Herb Cooper voted against a similar plan for Easley, other than they wanted the school district to run the school. It was battle over control the students and taxpayers of Pickens County lost.
If the school board opens the old Gettys School again in the future, all of it will have to be brought up to code, costing upwards of $25 million. It will have to be funded by more borrowing and higher tax rates for Pickens County.