City to consider purchasing Farmstead School
by James Phillips
Jul 29, 2012 | 2060 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The City of Jasper may soon be the owners of a school closed by the Walker County Board of Education last year.

Johnny Rollins, council member for District 2, said during a special called meeting of the Jasper City Council on Friday morning that the Farmstead School property is available and he felt it would be in the city’s best interest to purchase the property.

“Farmstead School is not sold,” Rollins said. “Farmstead Baptist had looked at it and to some extent are still looking at it, but it appears the City of Jasper can buy it at a very reasonable price.”

Rollins said he had talked to officials from Farmstead Baptist.

“We would defer to them if they decided to buy it, but apparently they are not moving in that direction,” he said.

The property includes a little more than 30 acres, including the building, a newly refurbished gymnasium, two baseball/softball fields, a football field and a practice field. Rollins said city sewer lines already run by the school.

“There are so many pluses about buying this property,” he said.

Kathy Russell, a Jasper resident who lives near Farmstead School, asked city council members if it would be reopened as a Jasper City school.

“That’s my neck of the woods,” she said. “All my children and some grandchildren went there as long as they could.”

Rollins said the city’s school board is not interested in the facility.

Gary Cowen, District 3 council member, said the city would be interested in the property as a way to expand its parks and recreation department.

“If the price is right and we can afford it, it would be a good expansion for us,” he said.

Rollins also suggested a new fire station could be located on the property.

“I think that would be great,” Russell said.

Council members voted unanimously Friday to allow city attorneys to negotiate the purchase of the property with the Walker County BOE.

In other action at the meeting, the council:

•Approved an emergency request to fund rebuilding a motor on one of the city’s residential garbage trucks.