THIS FORMER residence may become a resource house for parents of local students. The home is owned by the Board of Education.
After attempting to sell a surplus residence across from Southside Elementary School since 2015, Grady County Schools superintendent, Dr. Kermit Gilliard, shared a proposal with the Board of Education Tuesday night to repurpose the former residence.
The superintendent said the school system has been unsuccessful in attracting someone to move or salvage the house, located at 436 Third St. S.E., so he had thought the structure might be ideal to house programs of the school system’s social services department.
“The board declared it surplus some time ago and we’ve still got it. This idea of mine developed overnight and today,” Dr. Gilliard said.
The superintendent said the roof of the former residence was damaged in the March tornado, but maintenance director Dave Mitchell has said the cost to make the necessary repairs and make the structure usable for the school system’s needs would not be much more than it would cost to have it razed and the lot cleared. The school system also collected insurance proceeds to repair the roof, but had done nothing to the structure since there were no plans to utilize it.
Gilliard’s idea is to also make it a resource house for parents where necessities could be obtained by needy parents
“This is a fabulous idea. Very forward thinking,” board member Laura Register said. She suggested that if the community was made aware of what the school system’s needs were the public would offer items to help stock the resource house. Register also suggested that working in coordination with the Grady County Help Agency the system could further expand its services to those parents and children in need.
Dr. Katina Cooper, director of the social services department, witnesses the needs of both children and adults on a daily basis, according to Dr. Gilliard. The former residence could also house programs offered by Crystal Holt, director of mental health for the school system.
If the plan becomes a reality, Dr. Gilliard said that mental health services offered through the school system’s telemedicine provider for parents and guardians could also be administered from the Third Street location.
The school system has only recently begun to offer mental health telemedicine services to parents and guardians of Grady County School System students and the plan was for adults to be served at the Central Office or the VanLandingham Center.
“This would allow more anonymity for adults utilizing these services by offering it at the Third Street house,” Dr. Gilliard said.
The consensus of the school board was to move forward with the plan. Dr. Gilliard said that Mr. Mitchell will obtain estimates of what it will cost to put the house into service and Dr. Gilliard will bring back a formal recommendation to the board at a later date.
In other business Tuesday night, the board:
Authorized payment of the accounts payable totaling $405,438.20 on the recommendation of the superintendent and finance officer, Dan Broome.
Approved the hiring of Nigel Hurst as the school resource officer at Southside Elementary School and Davina Thomas as the school resource officer at Eastside Elementary School. Dr. Gilliard noted that these two latest hires completes the hiring of officers at all seven schools.
Approved the hiring of Kenya Douglas as a parapro at Washington Middle School.
Accepted the resignations of Kiyauna Masten – parapro at Eastside Elementary School and Jennifer Williams – nurse at Southside Elementary School.
Authorized Gilliard to solicit proposals from construction managers for the proposed renovations and construction at Eastside Elementary School.
Discussed scheduling a whole board training event in Atlanta on Nov. 7.