Madison County commissioners toured the old Danielsville gym next to the county government complex Dec. 4, considering a possible deal with the school system that would put the gym in county control.
The commissioners noted that the rooms in the back of the old alternative school could be useful as additional county offices. Likewise, the old gym, which has a wooden floor in good shape, could be used by the county recreation department, which has no indoor sports facilities.
“It could provide office space,” said commissioner Stanley Thomas. “Plus, the recreation department has been waiting for an indoor facility for a long time.”
Board members took no vote on the matter during their Thursday morning budget meeting. But the group discussed a possible deal with the county school board. The county government collects property taxes for the school system, with an annual charge of $250,000 for the service. The county government could reduce or eliminate that fee for a period of time in exchange for the gym.
County school superintendent Allen McCannon said Monday that he likes the idea of a deal between the two groups. He said he feels it could be beneficial to the school system and the county recreation department.
“I feel it could be good for the county and good for our kids,” he said, adding that a reduction or elimination of the tax collection fee would be a deal that doesn’t require money changing hands.
The old gym is now used by the high school wrestling program, but McCannon said the wrestling program has outgrown the structure and school leaders are considering the construction of a wrestling and competitive cheerleading metal building behind the freshman academy. High school wrestling matches would then be held in the freshman academy gym. Wrestling mats could then be left in place in the new building, with competitive cheerleading mats placed on top of them in the summer and fall. The wrestling mats could also be used by youth wrestlers in the county, who may one day participate in the Raider program.
Meanwhile, the old Danielsville gym could be used by the recreation department for basketball and a variety of other indoor activities.
The commissioners and school board will likely continue discussion of a possible deal in coming weeks.
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