Land transactions up for Houston BOE vote

WARNER ROBINS -- Land may be changing hands after Tuesday’s Houston County school board meeting.

At its monthly work session Monday, the board heard from Scott Hill, the district’s facilities director, about the potential sale of one tract of land and the purchase of another.

The property for sale is 5.97 acres near Matt Arthur Elementary School, which has an assessed value of a little more than $95,000. The land originally was part of an 8-acre purchase for a student drop-off area, but only about 2 acres were needed.

SKI Development asked about purchasing the property to build homes, and Stephen Thublin, assistant superintendent for finance and business operations, said the sale made sense.

“We have no use for this property,” Thublin said.

Board members asked about any potential future need for the land, such as parking. Hill said there was space on school grounds for that and noted the land’s location across the road from campus.

“I feel like we would want to put that parking on campus,” Hill said.

The board also heard a proposal to purchase 4.76 acres adjacent to Perry High School on Ga. 41 for $238,000, which is in line with the property’s assessed value. While there are no firm plans for the land, the campus is currently “land-locked” and wouldn’t be conducive to future expansion.

“At some point, that would be a site where we may consider another building,” Superintendent Mark Scott said.

Thublin and Hill said the “extra space” could be used for a gymnasium, classroom buildings or athletic fields.

“Right now, there’s nowhere to put anything,” Thublin said.

The board will vote on both transactions at Tuesday’s meeting, along with a proposal to use Northside Middle School as a summer school site. Board Chairwoman Marianne Melnick pointed to a “mutual trust” between the board and district staff to handle such matters.

“We trust our individuals,” she said. “They’re competent, they know their areas and we depend on that expertise to guide us.”

Board members also heard a proposal for a new wellness program policy, but that will need to be tabled for 30 days, Melnick said.

To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331.