TCSS expected to donate Whitesville Road property to county

Published 5:12 pm Wednesday, March 17, 2021

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The Troup County School System is expected to vote Thursday to donate the Whitesville Road Elementary School property to Troup County for the installation of additional soccer fields.

The school system discussed the proposed agreement during its Monday work session, and the Troup County Commission voted to approve the deal during Tuesday night’s meeting. Whitesville Road Elementary was closed in 2018 and was replaced by the then-new Clearview Elementary School.

Under the agreement, Troup County plans to raze the old elementary school building and then will work to install more soccer fields. The county will assume responsibility for asbestos abatement and removal of the old school.

“As soon as we fully own the property, we’re going to move forward with bidding out asbestos abatement and demolition of the existing building,” said County Manager Eric Mosley. “We want to show our soccer supporters that Troup County means business, and we certainly want to provide an excellent soccer facility that our Troup County citizens deserve.”

Mosley said the county plans to add two large competition level sized fields and then one mid-sized field. He said the biggest addition will be to add parking.

“Parking is atrocious at that facility. People park everywhere and anywhere,” he said. “So, that’ll be a part of it.”

Mosley said the county plans to keep the existing school gymnasium and will also add restroom facilities. He said soccer is a growing sport in Troup County and is one of the more popular youth sports the county currently offers.

He said opening day was last weekend and a big crowd was on-hand to start the season. 

“It was just a madhouse at that facility because you’ve got the little wee small ones all the way up to, you know the club teams,” Mosley said. 

“We’ve got quite a few travel teams that play [there]. We have some international teams as well that play out there, especially on Sundays.”

Mosley also said all three high schools also can utilize the facility with their soccer programs.

During Monday’s school board work session, Shumate said TCSS’ exceptional education department is currently located in the band building on that property. 

Under the contract, TCSS will be a tenant in that building and can remain occupancy in that building for 10 years. 

“I’m not saying we are going to be there for 10 years,” Shumate said. “We don’t know. It depends on future spacing.”

The school system plans to hang on to 10 acres of the property, which includes the Burwell building, which specializes in highly-special needs children and is a program run by West Georgia RESA that Troup County is a part of. 

The school system will also still be able to use an area on the property where they wash and clean buses.

“That property was paid for by Troup County residents and taxpayers years ago and was then Troup County High School, then became Whitesville Road, and it’s our desire to give it back to the county of Troup for use for kids for a soccer complex, in which we would still benefit from,” Shumate said.

Mosley said the county has appreciated working with the school system on the Whitesville Road property, as well as other things as they’ve come up.

“Ever since Dr. Shumate came on, he and I and the other government leaders have really tried to keep strong relationships between all the entities. We understand that the school system is a huge partner in everything we do,” Mosley said. 

“They are almost 60% of our tax base. We’ve got two foster partnerships between our school system, and we’re just glad that we were able to have that opportunity to bridge this partnership moving forward.”