Former school buildings leased

Published 10:57 am Thursday, January 14, 2010

JACKSON — Two closed schools in Northampton County will now gain a new life.

At their recent regular meeting, the Northampton County Board of Education approved lease agreements with Creek Development Corporation for the former Rich Square W.S. Creecy Elementary School and the town of Garysburg for the former Garysburg Elementary School.

In October, the board declared the two schools surplus. The schools were closed due to declining enrollment.

According to the lease agreements for both entities, the rent for the first four years is the lessee’s agreement to maintain the premises and to reimburse the school system the cost of its property insurance premiums for the premises.

The lessees must also pay for all maintenance, renovations and repairs required to ensure that the premises are safe and suitable for the planned activities for the sites.

“Beginning with the fifth year of the lease, the rent shall be increased to a mutually agreeable amount,” the document states. “The new rental amount shall be documented in writing and signed by both parties.”

It goes on to state that if a new rental amount cannot be agreed upon, Northampton County Schools or the lessee may terminate the contract.

Creek Development Corporation, a non-profit organization of Second Baptist Creeksville Church based near Murfreesboro, plans to utilize Rich Square Creecy for 10 years in order to house a variety of educational, recreational and business purposes.

The organization’s plan states the ultimate goal for the non-profit is to place a vocational program within the former school.

The program would also include a GED component to run simultaneously with the acquisition of a trade, including those in the health, automotive, technology, human services and other fields. Creek Development Corporation’s goal is to partner with Roanoke Chowan Community College.

Other aspects of the plan are to include recreational programs for youth and adults and providing a place for summer camps and youth clubs. Healthy living with workshops, screenings, senior adult enhancement programs would also be applied with games and daycare. Plans for a child care center, a food program for children, a business incubator and a satellite site for the Northampton County Library is also listed in the plan.

Officials from the town of Garysburg submitted a similar 10-year lease plan to use the former Garysburg Elementary School building.

Plans for that facility include recreational uses for both indoor and outdoor activities, a library, health clinic, emergency shelter, small business incubator and a senior citizen’s center.

Board member Donald Johnson offered a motion to approve the leases with Creek Development Corporation and the town of Garysburg; Vice Chair Bill Little offered a second. The motion passed without objection.