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Madison Considers Plans for Site of Old School - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Madison Considers Plans for Site of Old School

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The old Criglersville Elementary School The old Criglersville Elementary School

Madison County is exploring plans to tear down the old Criglersville Elementary School.

The doors closed to students nearly 11 years ago. Now, the county says a park may be opening in its place.

People have called for renovating and rebuilding the school. Neighbors say they're still torn on what they want. But the county says it’s in the early stages of plans to tear it down.

For Nathaniel Weakly, Criglersville Elementary School runs in his blood.

“My grandmother, Georgia Woodard, my mother, many people in my family and through the area that I lived in went to the Criglersville school,” he said.

So for him and others, losing the school will be an emotional experience.

“It's really sad. It's really sad to see something like that go down,” Weakly said.

Madison County leaders say they are in the early stages of figuring out what to do with the building, but at this point tearing it down looks like the best option.

“It's really about trying to find the best use, and we haven't thus far been able to find a better use for that property,” said County Administrator Ernie Hoch.

The problem with renovating or building something new at the site of the old Criglersville Elementary School is it's right in the middle of a floodplain, so any building there would have really high insurance.

The county is applying for federal funds to help pay for tearing the school down, and it says a park would be the most likely replacement.

“The federal government will help take a building down with the promise that it can never be built again, what it does is it prevents future losses and future risks to the insurance pools by putting buildings in harm’s way where the really shouldn't be,” Hoch said.

Jimmy Graves went to Criglersville Elementary School as a kid. Now he owns Graves Mountain Lodge, just up the road. At this point, he says, he just wants an answer.

“I think they need to make a decision either use it or they’re going to have to get rid of it,” Graves said.

County officials are meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss plans for the school. They'll know by mid-summer whether they'll get those federal funds to help pay for tearing the school down.

They should have a definitive answer on plans for Criglersville Elementary School by the end of the year.

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