ATLANTA -- A new charter would relaunch the former Sandersville Elementary School auditorium as an independent visual arts and music venue under a bill filed this week in the state Legislature.
“This is not taxpayers’ money in any kind of way,” said state Rep. Mack Jackson, D-Sandersville, while explaining his House Bill 305. Jackson returned to the point several times and said all work and operation costs will be paid with private money.
“This building will become like a welcome center and a place for the arts,” he said.
The effort to repurpose the New Deal-era building started with a group of residents in Sandersville, he said.
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The bill sets up what will be called the Sandersville School Building Authority and transfers the school property to that body.
After initial appointments by the governor, the Washington County Commission and the authority itself would select the nine authority members.
At least one authority member must represent the Washington County Historical Society, two must represent the arts community, and the others must represent local industry or the general public.
Sandersville’s other state lawmaker, state Sen. David Lucas, D-Macon, said he is supportive of the idea.
Because the two agree, the bill faces little chance of failure in the Legislature.
The authority would become active by July at the earliest.