Old BMS cleanup planned

Published 11:40 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2011

While students and teachers at the new Brewton Middle School spread out in their new digs, a committee eager to turn the old building into a community center continues to press on with its plans.

On Saturday, the group met to establish and prepare the ground to plant a community garden at the site.

And in late September, the committee will hold a cleanup at Brewton Middle School, committee chairwoman Aline Manuel said.

“We’re still staying focused on what we’re trying to do,” Manuel said. “We want to stay in the eye of the community. We haven’t given up.”

The cleanup will be held at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. Residents are invited to come to the school to help beautify the grounds.

The school, located on Liles Boulevard, was vacated over the summer as officials moved into the new school at the corner of U.S. 31 and Old Castleberry Road.

Last year, a committee formed to explore the possibility of turning the old building into a community center.

The building’s ownership will revert back to the City of Brewton, which must pay the cost of insurance on the facility.

City officials have said that any group that operates in the building would have to help cover those costs.

The city has set aside $100,000 — from the sale of the new middle school property several years ago — for the purpose of a new community center, if it comes to fruition. A small portion of that money was spent on a feasibility study for the facility last spring.

Any lease payment would likely have to cover the insurance on the property, according to guidelines city officials prepared for anyone interested in taking over the school when it is vacated.

In addition, there would be work needed to bring the building into code compliance, and certified architectural drawings would need to be submitted to detail the use and update building codes, fire codes and Americans with Disabilities Act standards, according to the city’s guidelines.