Future of Yancey Elementary Discussed at Town Hall Meeting

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Town hall meeting at Yancey Elementary School Town hall meeting at Yancey Elementary School

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and the school board put together a work group last December to draw up plans for Yancey Elementary School. Saturday, that group invited neighbors to the school to contribute ideas for its future since enrollment has dwindled.

Waltine Eubanks has lived in Esmont almost all her life. She wants to see Yancey Elementary School expanded into an intergenerational center.

"My hopes are that we will finally be heard and not continuously strung along with the same song and dance," said Waltine Eubanks, an Esmont native.

Tim Lewis leads an advisory committee created by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and school board to make recommendations for the site's future. He acknowledges Eubanks' frustration

"The community is impatient they want to see the county get on with it," said Lewis.

Saturday's town hall meeting is part of that process. 

"We have 60 people here today and their going into break out groups what their concerns are for the school their issues and a new vision for Yancey school," said Lewis.

The breakout groups considered some of the choices for the school's future use that came out of a survey of 200 people.

"Some will be fairly big recommendations that will take fairly long to do but hopefully there will be some small recommendations that we can use to go ahead immediately and make some improvements," said Steve Koleszar, Albemarle County School Board chairman.

Some of the options would require construction.

"We would need to look at the need to expand the building, and the county is open to that option but an expansion of the building needs a larger septic system and a septic system needs to buy two pieces of land near the school," said Koleszar.

The county has been negotiating to buy the land but hasn't closed the deal.

"I think seeing something going forward like the buying of the land would be very important for the community," said Lewis.

Eubanks wants action.

"Starting with the purchase of the land," said Eubanks.

The committee will evaluate the recommendations from Saturday's meeting and circulate a report to neighbors in Esmont first.  A final report will go to the Board of Supervisors and school board in December.