Though there has been no final decision as to whether there will be construction on a new facility as of the moment, there is one hurdle our community could potentially avoid if the decision is made to move forward once a new Facilities Plan is created: spending funds on the purchase of new land.

The reason for this is that local developer and construction contractor, Jackie French, of French Construction, has decided to officially offer a donation of up to 25 acres of land to the community of Hanson and the Hopkins County Board of Education upon which a new Hanson School could possibly be built.

“I would really like to work with them on this and I’ll do anything I can to help,” said French. “I’ll donate anything up to 25 acres and I’ll let them choose what part of the property would be best suited for what they are looking for.”  However, since his initial land donation offer around 3 years ago, French has yet to be officially contacted by the Hopkins County Board of Education in regards to this matter.

The tract of property from which the land could be used or donated totals in at 100 acres, explained French. In addition, the beginning of the property is located right under 1 mile from the current Hanson Elementary site (it is bordered by Compton Rd., N. Livingston St., and Sunset Rd./Hwy 260) and sits at a relatively higher elevation when compared to the school’s current location, which was once believed to sit on a portion of the 100-Year Flood Plain. French also explained that the site is ready for utilities such as electrical, water, sewage, etc.

For an aerial view of the property, click the following link:  A photo of the property layout is included in this article as well (to the right).

iSurf News contacted the Hopkins County Board of Education’s Director of Facilities, Steve Gilliam, to get his response on the offer of land as well.

“Right now, we’re starting the process to create a new District Facilities Plan,” said Gilliam. “I’ve talked with the people at the Department of Education, and they’ve agreed that we don’t need to be looking at property, because everything’s going to have to follow the new Facilities Plan. So we’re not looking at it until the Plan has been created.”

Gilliam explained that a new architect, who will be responsible for reevaluating/ranking the current state of facilities in Hopkins County, will probably be elected at a Board Meeting tonight, September 7th.  From there, the architect will take about two months to review all of the Hopkins County structures, and once the results are in, a new Facilities Committee will be formed in order to vote on new construction/renovation priorities.

As more information becomes available on the new list of priorities, as well as the status of the land donation on behalf of Jackie French, iSurf News will keep you posted.

Luke Short

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Posted on 2/2/14
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