The Floyd County Board of Education is once again seeking to sell an abandoned school.
During a meeting on Monday, the board unanimously approved seeking bids for the former McDowell Elementary, which was declared as surplus property in 2017.
The school has been closed since 2017, when it consolidated along with the former Osborne Elementary into South Floyd Elementary in Hi Hat.
That year, the board consolidated several schools with the construction of Floyd Central High School and it closed the former Allen Central High School. The district’s central office staff recently moved into the former ACHS building, and the other schools that had been vacated have since been declared as surplus and sold.
The former McDowell Elementary is the only school remaining from that consolidation to be sold as surplus. In 2018, former Finance Director Matt Wireman reported the district was spending more than $100,000 annually for flood and property insurance for McDowell Elementary. Finance Director Tiffany Campbell could not be reached prior to print deadline, however, to answer questions about whether the insurance costs have changed since last year.
It’s not the first time the board attempted to get the school off of the district’s list of properties.
In April 2018, the board voted to transfer ownership of McDowell Elementary to the Floyd County Fiscal Court, pending an assessment of asbestos on the property and other evaluations.
The board sought approval from the Kentucky Department of Education to transfer that school to the Floyd County Fiscal Court, following a presentation from former Floyd County Judge-Executive Ben Hale, who reported the county wanted to use that property for community benefit. Hale told school district officials that the county wanted to seek grant funding to reopen the school for a community purpose. That plan did not come to fruition, however.
Floyd County Schools Facilities Director Gregory Adams reported in documents reviewed by the board of education on Nov. 25 that the district has received “no direction back from the KDE about this request.”
The McDowell property includes several buildings including the Grisby Field House gym, and the property has been repeatedly flooded over the years, one of the reasons the board decided to close the school.
The property was valued at $975,000 when it was appraised in 2017. During the first round of bidding for McDowell Elementary, the school board received a $7,000 bid. Board members rejected that bid, however, in Jan. 2018.