JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. -- There's an effort to make Paint Rock Valley School available for the community to use, but county leaders say they need people to step up to the plate.
Jackson County Schools officials voted to close the school earlier this year. At the time 74 students went to the K -12 school. School officials said then the long-term potential repairs and the funding for them factored into the decision to close.
The buildings are sitting empty. The grounds are kept up. School leaders say they've taken out the things of value for now.
"We want to give the community an opportunity to preserve their building," said Superintendent Kevin Dukes.
He talked with the County Commission about forming a board that would oversee the school's use and upkeep. The idea is to let the community use the facilities for events. "We will see about turning the school over, and making some type of lease to turn it over to that board. We'll see how it goes from there," Dukes said, "The commission has just agreed to form the board, and they're in the process of seeing who will be a part of the board."
But, they need people to step up to the plate and volunteer. "One of the things we talked about with the Commission, it's going to be a financial obligation to keep it going because it was a costly school to keep running at the time," Dukes said.
The school dates back to the 1930s. It was built by the people who lived in the community. Generations of families sent their kids to the school. "Hopefully we can get rolling with it," Dukes said, "I'm ready for something to happen, you know, to save it."
If enough people show interest and the board is created, the school system will most likely make a lease agreement with the board and go from there. If anyone wants to help they need to contact their local commissioner.
Just days after Paint Rock Valley School shut its doors cameras caught four people breaking into the historic school and doing thousands of dollars worth of damage. Dukes said that's been cleaned up. Jackson County Sheriff's Office investigators are working the case and say if anyone knows anything about it, to give them a call.