Residents and concerned citizens will get another bite at the apple from county officials Thursday when an update on the fate of the Shawtown Elementary School will be offered.
County officials will return to the Shawtown Community Building from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. to continue discussions on the fate of the property.
Officials first offered residents their chance to speak during a meeting in April. Around 80 people showed up to give their opinion on how the county should deal with the property.
One major topic during the meeting was the potential demolition of the two buildings currently on the site, both built around 1949. County officials plan to remove the two buildings that once housed the school administration building and the gymnasium.
The buildings once housed several facilities including the last tenants, Central Carolina Community College. Prior to CCCC’s involvement, it was used as a primary school. The original use was as a high school for African-American students when the local school system was segregated, the buildings have since deteriorated and fallen into disarray.
Residents were told during the April meeting once the buildings are removed several options become available, including a community garden, playground equipment, possibly a walking trail and ballfields.
Concern was raised during the meeting by members of the Shawtown Alumni Association regarding the proposed amenities.
One member, association president John Smith Jr., indicated the walking trail and ballfields are an important part of any park.
He was assured by county manager Paula Stewart the first objective is to remove the old buildings.
“Without removing those buildings we are limited on what we can do,” she said during the meeting. “I love history and we want to preserve it if we can, but we can’t do what we want if we leave those buildings.”
Also in attendance during the April session was Commissioner Barbara McKoy who expressed her desire to see the buildings removed and the location revitalized.
“We are tired of these buildings just sitting here and falling apart,” Ms. McKoy said. “If we do what we want to do we can make this a beautiful site.”