Board decides against selling land to Easley

By Nicole Daughhetee
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — After months of contoversy and disagreement over a number of issues, Monday night’s meeting of the Pickens County school board, the first since the start of classes on August 21, was relatively quiet.
During the period designated for executive session motions, board trustee Judy Edwards made a motion to sell the property at West End and Head Start, a total of four acres of land, to the city of Easley for $20,000 plus legal fees.

Trustee Ben Trotter offered to second her motion for the sake of discussion.

“Easley is a nice place,” Trotter said. “We made them a nice offer for those pieces of property. I’m going to vote not to sell it unless they give us the original price of $25,000 plus closing costs. Unless we get that, I am going to be voting no on that.”

Board chairman Alex Saitta voiced his agreement with Trotter.
“Many thought it made sense for the city of Easley to own the two tracts, and most of us thought $30,000 was a fair price for the four acres,” Saitta said. “The city informally bid $20,000. We made an effort to meet them half way, offering the land for $25,000 or $6,250 per acre.
“The city doesn’t want to spend more than $20,000, or $4,000 an acre. I think our offer to the city was generous. In comparison, the district has a half-acre lot for sale now on McAlister Road that the county values at $26,000. Land in Easley is very expensive.”

Edward’s motion failed in a 5-1 vote; she was the only one who supported the motion.

Also discussed was the process of naming the new middle school in Easley, which formerly housed Easley High School.

“As Mr. Folkman begins the building process, we are going to need to look at colors, alma mater, all those things,” Pew said. “We are going to need to get a committee together to do this. Plus, deliveries have gotten quite confusing. Does it go to the Easley Middle? Easley High? We’re at the point now that we need to consider a name for the new middle school.”

Saitta suggested that the responsibility for naming the school could be equally divided among Pew and board members Edwards and Jim Shelton, both of whom represent the Easley area.

“I would actually go out and solicit people and ask what they’re thinking,” said Saitta. “What they want to do.”

People in the Easley community have already begun to share ideas about what the new Easley middle school should be named.

“Brice Middle School has been suggested because of Brice Field,” said Edwards. “Because it was named after Mr. Brice that was so long in education.”

The SDPC will begin to move forward in the naming process.