Carter County school board discusses future of properties

Published 1:50 pm Friday, June 21, 2024

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By Robert Sorrell

The Carter County Board of Education is planning for the future of the former Little Milligan Elementary School and central office building.

On Thursday, during its June meeting, board members and Director of Schools Brandon Carpenter discussed the future of the two properties, which have been vacated by the system to save money.

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Carpenter told the board that he has been contacting commercial real estate appraisers regarding the system’s former central office building on Academy Street in Elizabethton.

In March of 2023, the board approved its closure and transferred administrative offices and the board room to the closed Keenburg Elementary School.

Following its closure at the end of the 2022-2023 school year, Keenburg students moved to Central and Hunter elementary schools.

The former central office building, which is located along the Doe River in the old Duffield Academy, has remained vacant ever since.

“I think we need to move forward and get the appraisal done on the property,” Carpenter said.

An appraisal of the two-story brick building would cost between $2,000 and $5,000, according to Carpenter.

The board unanimously approved a plan to allow the school director to move forward with an appraisal. Carpenter said he will continue to speak with commercial appraisers and move forward with the most affordable service.

The board also briefly discussed the future of Little Milligan Elementary School, which closed at the end of the 2023-2024 school year. The board voted back in April to close the school and transfer students to Hampton Elementary School.

Little Milligan had 69 students at the time of the closure and Carpenter said it cost about $1.16 million to operate the school for one year.

“Everything is locked up at Little Milligan,” Carpenter said.

The director said a local organization, known as Little Milligan Care and Shares, has approached him with plans to use the property.

“They would like to do that as soon as possible,” said Carpenter, who added that the organization would like to present its plans to the board.

With school out for the summer, the next board meeting is scheduled for Aug. 15 at 5:30 p.m.