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Pierce pleas for old school

WINDSOR – The Mayor of Askewville came before the Bertie Board of Education (BOE) here last Tuesday night to plea for the board to let his town utilize the former Askewville Elementary School facility.

During the public comments session, Mayor John Pierce told the board, &uot;The Town of Askewville is interested in getting the school and ballpark area in the town.&uot;

He continued, &uot;The town has worked with the school quite well over so many years and we haven’t even asked for anything until now, except to use the grounds when school is out.&uot;

The school building and grounds have been vacant ever since the BOE shut down the school at the end of the 2005-2006 school year.

Along with J.P. Law Elementary School, it was closed as part of an agreement with the United States Department of Justice to help solve the ongoing desegregation suit against the county’s public school system.

Because of that, the facility can never again be used for educational purposes.

Pierce proposes to use it to help the people of his town.

&uot;We know we can’t compete with the other organizations who may want it… but the school building would be beneficial to the children of Askewville; we could turn it into something good and keep them from playing in the streets or doing other things they’re not supposed to be doing,&uot; he stated.

Pierce added, &uot;We’d also like the building because it’s in the central part (of the county) and it’s a place where in hurricanes and during bad storms people can have a place to go.&uot;

According to Pierce, back when Askewville Elementary first started, the land for the school was purchased for just $50 from an Askewville citizen.

&uot;She didn’t charge much because she was only interested in the welfare of the children,&uot; Pierce noted.

For years before the school itself was built, children played in the school yard, he also said.

He added, &uot;The people in Askewville cleared the land off (for the school) and during the process the town got a grant so they put lights on the park out there.&uot;

That was more than 40 years ago and the town still covers the electricity bill, according to Pierce.

The board thanked Pierce for his concerns, but took no action on the matter.