NINETY SIX – A group of individuals in Ninety Six are hoping to turn the old Edgewood Middle School into a community center.
The old Edgewood Middle School has sat vacant, being used only for storage, since Greenwood School District 52 opened the new combined high school and middle school at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. Another group approached the District 52 Board of Trustees about opening a community center in the building, but were turned away because they did not have a plan for sustaining the center if it was opened.
“I have no problem with seeing the facility used as a community center,” said Dr. Michael Bryant at an Oct. 2012 meeting of the District 52 school board. “There needs to be a plan so that the building is not sitting vacant again in two years. I would rather see an empty field there than a condemned building. The people in the community surrounding the school feel the same way.”
At the Oct. 2012 meeting, the board unanimously voted to put a six month time limit on making a decision about the use of the building. Those six months have passed, but it appears that Partlow and her group may get a green light for opening the community center. The matter will be taken up at Wednesday night’s meeting of the school board.
Partlow says her group has lots of plans for the potential community center. Those plans include an AAU basketball league, a homework center, rental space for community events and a local radio station. The most important offering of the center, Partlow says, will be mentoring programs.
“Not all of our kids have positive role models at home,” Partlow said. “We hope that by bringing those kids into organized activities we can help keep them on the right path.”
Partlow says her initial meetings with district officials, including some board members, have been positive. She hopes to get approval to move forward at Wednesday’s board meeting.
“We’re hoping that the community will support what we are doing,” Partlow said. “We believe it can make a big impact on the community here in Ninety Six.”