Any decision to preserve or destroy the foundation of Euharlee’s old school gym will be put off until the city council hears a recommendation from the Historic Preservation Committee.
During a called work session Tuesday night, Euharlee City Council members discussed their personal opinions on what to do with the concrete block structure, which had been uncovered during a grading and clearing operation for the proposed walking trail near city hall.
Sammy Carden said he had spoken with a number of residents who had gone to the school when it was open. He said they all believed it should be torn down.
“They all said it is in just such pitiful shape it just needs to be cleaned out so we can have the area cleaned. So that’s the input I had from the people I asked about it,” he said.
Council member Joseph Turner wanted to see the decision put off until the rest of the area was cleared and graded.
“I don’t know that it’s worth saving,” Turner said, “but I didn’t feel like it was part of the trail project ... I guess I’m ready to tear it down. Me, personally, I would rather work around it and make the decision later — once we can get in there and see what’s there.”
Craig Guyton said he had no strong feelings about destroying or preserving the foundation. However, he did make a case for knocking it down now.
“But there’s something to be said for the business aspect of it. That it’s going to be cheaper to handle now as opposed to later, considering we’ve got workers there with the equipment now,” he said.
One supporter of preserving the foundation was Steve Worthington, who had said in the council’s previous work session that he wanted to save as much of Euharlee’s history as possible. He continued to make his point Tuesday night, citing his first run for the city council seat in the early 1990s when he advocated historic preservation.
Worthington finished his statement by saying the Historical Preservation Committee should make a recommendation of what to do with the foundation.
“It is a structure inside the city of Euharlee and I don’t feel like we need to lay a hand on it. We have appointed a Historical Preservation Committee and, I think, formally for our protection and their protection, it needs to go before a formal meeting,” he said.
Worthington also questioned whether the city would be able to maintain the general area along the walking trail once it is cleared out. He said the city does not have the right kind of equipment to mow over or pull out the stumps, hedges and underbrush that will grow back. Turner said he had been wondering the same thing.
Mayor Kathy Foulk asked why the city should preserve the foundation if no one would be able to see it.
“If we don’t have a way to maintain this area, then what are we saving? I mean, it’s kind of pointless,” she said.
While no decision was made on how to maintain the cleared area around the proposed walking trail, the council did decide to wait until the Historic Preservation Committee held a called meeting and drafted a recommendation.
Marshall Aiken, a committee member, said he would try to hold a called meeting before the upcoming holiday weekend so the council could make a decision at their next meeting.
Other council business included the reviewing and revising of city employee job descriptions. Foulk said the revisions were an ongoing process that started several months ago and were focused on clarifying the descriptions. The last time the council went through the job descriptions, she said, was approximately six years ago.
The Euharlee City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. at city hall.