Leaders from the Sampson County Schools Board of Education are continuing their support for a group of senior citizens in Roseboro.
During a Tuesday work session, the board came to a consensus to extend a lease at the Charles E. Perry School for the Roseboro Nutrition Site for the remainder of the school year. The contract was originally scheduled to expire Feb. 28. Members of the group have been utilizing a room at the building since September. They were forced to relocate because of vandalism and damage to the town-owned community building on Northeast Railroad Street.
At the beginning of the conflict, Board Chair Telfair Simpson and supporters were hoping repairs would be completed by February 2017, but high bid prices put a halt to any progress. Officials estimate that it would cost about $40,000. A couple of the needs include a new floor and roof. The matter was discussed during a recent Roseboro town meeting.
“They don’t have the money and they don’t want to raise taxes to repair it,” Simpson said. “They’re looking for other facilities for them to use.”
Simpson said it’s a great program which has served residents for more than 40 years. Many participants receive a meal through the program. Meals are delivered to seniors unable to visit the nutrition site.
“It gives the seniors somewhere to go, spend time with people and eat lunch,” he said.
The seniors use a unit in a section of the building, away from other students.
“It’s been working out very well and there’s been no trouble at all,” Simpson said about using the building during school hours.
Simpson made a request to allow the seniors to use the building until the end of the school year. During that time, Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy and school officials will receive a proposal from the nutrition site for future plans.
“We’ll see if it something that we can handle or we’re going have to ask them to find somewhere else,” Simpson said.
The building in downtown Roseboro been declared as surplus. Roseboro Commissioners agreed to pay $200 a month for utilities in the future location and showed support to find a new home. But in the meantime, school officials said they’re willing to help. Tim Register, board member, made a suggestion to have a long-term contract with the nutrition site.
“I think we should work towards that,” Register said. “Anytime we can share the use of our facilities in the county, that’s a savings for taxpayers.”
In addition to financial matters such as working with county officials, Register said the community may benefit through a mentoring program too.
“They have tremendous knowledge and could possibly help those kids that need a lot of help, being they’re on the same campus,” Register said. “Something like that could work out as well.”
Board members are scheduled to make a final decision during the regular board meeting, set for 7 p.m. Feb. 27, at Union Intermediate School.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.