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BOE names donated building the VanLandingham Center

During a special called meeting of the Grady County Board of Education Tuesday, school board members formally accepted the transfer of ownership of the former U.S. Post office building from Mayor and Mrs. Richard VanLandingham.
In recognition of the VanLandingham’s generosity and significant financial support for the public schools over the last several years, Superintendent Dr. Tommy Pharis recommended to the board that the building be named the Grady County School System’s VanLandingham Center.
“There was no request or indication of a request for the naming or use of this building. It was given to us straight forward and honestly. You (the board) would be doing the right thing to name it the VanLandingham Center and it follows all of our policies regarding the naming of buildings,” Dr. Pharis said.
The board voted unanimously to accept the donation and ratified the chairman’s signature of a memorandum of understanding governing the gift.
The only stipulation is that if the board sells the building within five years of the date of receipt the school system will pay the VanLandinghams up to $70,000, or if the sale price exceeds $70,000 the system will pay one-half of any amount received exceeding $70,000.
As far as the use of the building, Dr. Pharis is recommending the board establish a board meeting room in the old post office building.
“We have no money budgeted for the building. For what it is worth I will give you my vision for the building, and that it is we are able to set up and have board meetings in that room. We will have technology and a nice, not elaborate place to meet and accommodate those who come to our meetings. That is my short term vision for the building,” the superintendent said.
Dr. Pharis added, “With that said, let me say this building belongs to the board and I will look to the board to provide guidance on it. I would like the board to give us guidance what you want to do and how you want to do it. We don’t have money budgeted, but we do have some money available in the capital project fund, but not a whole lot of money to put in the building.”
“We want something nicer than what we have here. It is a historic building and means a lot to people in Grady County,” Dr. Pharis said.
The superintendent said the windows would need attention and there would be some furniture needs, but he told the board he would wait for them to make recommendations of what to do with the facility before moving forward.

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